Nouadhibou

Last updated
Nouadhibou

Nwadibu (Berber)
نواذيبو  (Arabic)
Commune and town
Nouadhibou,BlvdMedian.jpg
Nouadhibou Centre
Mauritania location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Nouadhibou
Location in Mauritania
Coordinates: 20°56′N17°2′W / 20.933°N 17.033°W / 20.933; -17.033 Coordinates: 20°56′N17°2′W / 20.933°N 17.033°W / 20.933; -17.033
Country Flag of Mauritania.svg  Mauritania
Region Dakhlet Nouadhibou Region
Founded1906
Government
  MayorElghassem Ould Bellali
Elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Population
 (2013 census)
  Total118,167

Nouadhibou (Arabic : نواذيبو, romanized: Nwādībū, Berber: Nwadibu, formerly in French: Port-Étienne) is the second largest city in Mauritania and serves as a major commercial centre. The city itself has about 118,000 inhabitants expanding to over 140,000 in the larger metropolitan area. It is situated on a 65-kilometre peninsula or headland called Ras Nouadhibou (Berber: Ighef Nwadibu), Cap Blanc, or Cabo Blanco, of which the western side, with the Moroccan city of La Güera, is part of Western Sahara. Nouadhibou is consequently located merely a couple of kilometres from the border between Mauritania and Morocco de facto, Western Sahara de jure. Its current mayor is Elghassem Ould Bellali, who was installed on 15 October 2018. [1]

Contents

Overview

The city consists of four major areas: the city centre, including the airport; Numerowatt to the north; Cansado, the main residential area, to the south; and a dormitory town for the workers of the harbour facilities which are located a few kilometers south of the city, near the tip of the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula, at Port Minéralier.

Boats in Nouadhibou's harbour Nouadhibou,PortArtisanal1.jpg
Boats in Nouadhibou's harbour
Ships graveyard, Nouadhibou Ships graveyard, Nouadhibou, Mauritania-2.jpg
Ships graveyard, Nouadhibou

Attractions in Nouadibou include the Table Remarquable [ clarification needed ], several markets, a ships' graveyard and Mediterranean monk seals.

The port of Nouadhibou is the final resting place of over 300 ships and hence the world’s largest ship graveyard. Unlike the arrival en masse of ships at Mallows Bay, here the number of craft has built up over time, as corrupt officials accepted bribes from boat owners to allow them to dump their vessels in the area.

Nouadhibou has always been an important transit point for international transport. In the beginning of the 20th century, it was a stopover for the Latécoère air-transport network for mail and passengers for western Africa and overseas colonies like Martinique. Antoine de Saint-Exupery spent much time there as a pilot and as writer.

People waiting to board the Cross Country Ore-Train SNIM ore train Nouadhibou.jpg
People waiting to board the Cross Country Ore-Train

Near the harbour is the terminus of Mauritania's only railway line, which mainly brings iron ore from the mining areas near Fdérik and Zouérat, which are located up to 704 kilometres (437 mi) inland.

Processing iron ore forms the largest industry in Nouadhibou, although the overall major economic activity is fishing.

History

The town was established as a small fishing port, controlled by the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the French. [2] In 1907 by decree of the governor general of French West Africa Ernest Roume, it was renamed Port-Étienne after the former French Minister of the Colonies Eugène Étienne. [3] After Mauritania became independent in 1960, the town name changed to Nouadhibou.

On 30 June 1973, at the time of the second-longest solar eclipse in the 20th century, an Aerobee rocket was launched at Nouadhibou for solar research. [4]

From February 2006 onwards Nouadhibou has become the departure point for African migrants trying to reach the Canary Islands. This extremely dangerous route to reach the European Union has become popular as a result of increased emigration controls along the Moroccan coast and around the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in the second half of 2005.

The city is reputedly also a centre of trading of meteorites found in the Sahara. [5]

Population history

Population of the commune of Nouadhibou (2000—2013)
YearPopulation
2000 [6]
72,337
2013 [6]
118,167

Climate

Nouadhibou features a desert climate (BWh) under the Köppen climate classification. The city sees virtually no rainfall during the course of the year averaging a paltry 18 millimetres (0.71 in) of precipitation annually. Despite the fact that it features a hot desert climate, the area does not quite see the extreme temperatures that other areas with this climate feature because of strong maritime influences. The average annual temperature in the city is 21.7 °C (71 °F).

Climate data for Nouadhibou (extremes 1906–present)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)33.6
(92.5)
36.0
(96.8)
38.0
(100.4)
38.5
(101.3)
39.4
(102.9)
41.0
(105.8)
39.7
(103.5)
39.4
(102.9)
41.3
(106.3)
40.5
(104.9)
37.4
(99.3)
34.9
(94.8)
41.3
(106.3)
Average high °C (°F)24.3
(75.7)
25.4
(77.7)
27.0
(80.6)
26.2
(79.2)
26.5
(79.7)
27.9
(82.2)
27.2
(81.0)
28.2
(82.8)
30.5
(86.9)
29.9
(85.8)
27.3
(81.1)
24.7
(76.5)
27.1
(80.8)
Daily mean °C (°F)18.3
(64.9)
19.2
(66.6)
20.1
(68.2)
19.9
(67.8)
20.4
(68.7)
22.8
(73.0)
22.4
(72.3)
23.5
(74.3)
24.6
(76.3)
23.3
(73.9)
21.2
(70.2)
19.2
(66.6)
21.3
(70.3)
Average low °C (°F)13.6
(56.5)
14.2
(57.6)
14.8
(58.6)
15.1
(59.2)
16.1
(61.0)
17.4
(63.3)
18.8
(65.8)
19.9
(67.8)
20.3
(68.5)
19.0
(66.2)
16.8
(62.2)
14.5
(58.1)
16.7
(62.1)
Record low °C (°F)4.0
(39.2)
9.5
(49.1)
10.0
(50.0)
8.9
(48.0)
9.8
(49.6)
10.5
(50.9)
10.8
(51.4)
12.8
(55.0)
13.4
(56.1)
10.0
(50.0)
10.0
(50.0)
9.0
(48.2)
4.0
(39.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches)2
(0.1)
3
(0.1)
2
(0.1)
1
(0.0)
1
(0.0)
1
(0.0)
1
(0.0)
3
(0.1)
5
(0.2)
3
(0.1)
2
(0.1)
1
(0.0)
23
(0.9)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)0.30.40.30.30.10.10.20.40.70.20.20.13.1
Average relative humidity (%)63686972737479787372696671
Mean monthly sunshine hours 248.0237.3279.0285.0310.0276.0260.4272.8246.0254.2243.0244.93,156.6
Mean daily sunshine hours 8.08.49.09.510.09.28.48.88.28.28.17.98.6
Source 1: Deutscher Wetterdienst [7]
Source 2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows) [8]

Transportation

Paved roads

Nouadhibou is linked with the Coastal Motorway RN2 to the capital Nouakchott (a distance of 450 km (280 mi)) and by highway to the Moroccan border in the north (a distance of 70 km (43 mi)).

Railway

Nouadhibou also is connected by railway to the iron mines in Zouérat, 670 km to the east. The freight trains can be as long as 3 km, reputedly the longest in the world. The railway also carries passengers and calls at Choum.

Aviation

The city is served by Nouadhibou Airport.

Economy

Plans were drawn up at the beginning of 1963 to build a port called Port Wharf in the fishing harbour, which included the construction of industrial and trade buildings. This became operational in 1966. This wharf was designed to accommodate traffic of up to 50,000 tonnes. In 1977 the wharf was lengthened to provide 3 extra berths for ships of average tonnage raising its capacity to 320,000 tonnes.[ citation needed ]

Health

The Nouadhibou Regional Hospital was opened in 2017 after a build time of five years and is the largest hospital in that region [9]

Sports

Two football clubs from Nouadhibou participate in the Mauritanian Premier League as of the 2018/19 season: FC Nouadhibou and ASC Snim. [10]

Related Research Articles

Citizens of Mauritania have various transportation methods. Railways and highways connect major cities in the country. Mauritania is a coastal country so there are many ports along its coast and there are a few big rivers that run through the country. Lastly, there are 26 airports spread out throughout the country.

Geography of Western Sahara land features of Western Sahara

Western Sahara is a territory in Northern Africa, bordered by the North Atlantic Ocean, Morocco proper, Algeria, and Mauritania. Geographic coordinates: 24°30′N13°00′W

Transport in Western Sahara is very limited by sea, road and air with camels being the primary means of transport in the desert area. Road transport by buses remain the major mode of transportation. The longest conveyor belt in the world is 100 kilometres (62 mi) long, from the phosphate mines of Bu Craa to the coast south of Laayoune. The belt moves about 2,000 metric tons of rock containing phosphate every hour from the mines to El-Aaiun, where it is loaded and shipped.

Nouakchott Capital of Mauritania

Nouakchott is the capital and largest city of Mauritania. It is one of the largest cities in the Sahel. The city also serves as the administrative and economic center of Mauritania.

Geography of Mauritania

Mauritania, a country in the western region of the continent of Africa, is generally flat, its 1,030,700 square kilometres forming vast, arid plains broken by occasional ridges and clifflike outcroppings. It borders the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara, Mali and Algeria. It is considered part of both the Sahel and the Maghreb. A series of scarps face southwest, longitudinally bisecting these plains in the center of the country. The scarps also separate a series of sandstone plateaus, the highest of which is the Adrar Plateau, reaching an elevation of 500 metres. Spring-fed oases lie at the foot of some of the scarps. Isolated peaks, often rich in minerals, rise above the plateaus; the smaller peaks are called Guelbs and the larger ones Kedias. The concentric Guelb er Richat is a prominent feature of the north-central region. Kediet ej Jill, near the city of Zouîrât, has an elevation of 1,000 metres and is the highest peak.

La Güera Ghost town in Morocco

La Güera is a ghost town on the Atlantic coast at the southern tip of Western Sahara, on the western side of the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula which is split in two by the Mauritania–Western Sahara border, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of Nouadhibou. It is also the name of a daira at the Sahrawi refugee camps in south-western Algeria.

Agadir Place in Souss-Massa, Morocco

Agadir is a major city in Morocco. It is located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean near the foot of the Atlas Mountains, just north of the point where the Souss River flows into the ocean and 509 kilometres (316 mi) south of Casablanca. Agadir is the capital of the Agadir Ida-U-Tanan Prefecture and of the Souss-Massa economic region. The majority of its inhabitants speak Amazigh language, one of the two official languages of Morocco. It was the locale for the Agadir Crisis of 1911 between France and Germany that presaged the First World War.

Dakhla, Western Sahara Place in Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab, Western Sahara

Dakhla is a city in Western Sahara, currently occupied by Morocco. It is the capital of the Moroccan administrative region Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab. It has a population of 106,277 and is on a narrow peninsula of the Atlantic Coast, the Río de Oro Peninsula, about 550 km (340 mi) south of Laayoune.

Zouérat Commune and town in Tiris Zemmour, Mauritania

Zouérat is the largest town in northern Mauritania and the capital of Tiris Zemmour region, with an approximate population of 44,649 (2013). It lies at the eastern end of the Mauritania Railway to Nouadhibou.

Fderîck Place in Tiris Zemmour Region, Mauritania

Fderîck or F'dérick is a town in the Tiris Zemmour Region of northern Mauritania. It is located near the border with Western Sahara, in a remote area of the Sahara desert, on the west side of the Kediet Ijill. Fderîck was constructed in the late 1950s around the former French Fort Gouraud to exploit the area's iron deposits. The iron is transported by the Mauritania Railway to the port at Nouadhibou. The city of Atar provides access to the capital, Nouakchott.

Ras Nouadhibou Peninsula

Ras Nouadhibou is a 60-kilometre (37 mi) peninsula or headland divided by the border between Mauritania and Western Sahara on the African coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It is internationally known as Cabo Blanco in Spanish or Cap Blanc in French.

Choum Commune and town in Adrar Region, Mauritania

Choum is a town in northern Mauritania, lying in the Adrar Region close to the border with Western Sahara. In the year 2000, Choum had a population of 2,735.

Opération Lamantin was a December 1977 – July 1978 military intervention by France on the behalf of the Mauritanian government, in its war against Sahrawi guerrilla fighters of the Polisario Front, seeking independence for Western Sahara. Airstrikes were launched in the provinces, but the results of the operation were not significant. France used Jaguar combat aircraft from Dakar Airbase. The bombings were targeted in the rail route from the iron mines in Zouérat to the coast of Nouadhibou, which were obstructed by Polisario.

Guerguerat Place in Morocco

Guerguerat is a small village in the far south west of Western Sahara, 11 km (6.8 mi) from the border with Mauritania and 5 km (3.1 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean. The village is under the control of Morocco. The Moroccan passport control stamp bears the name of Bir Gandouz, a nearby village. Morocco sees this frontier post as the southernmost barrier protecting the European Union.

Mauritania–Morocco relations Diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and the Kingdom of Morocco

Mauritania–Morocco relations are the relations between Mauritania and Morocco, two countries of the Maghreb, in West Africa. The two countries have bordered each other since 1975, when Spain abandoned the Western Sahara most of which is now de facto under Moroccan control. The sovereignty of this territory remains disputed.

Dakhlet Nouadhibou

Dakhlet Nouadhibou is a bay on the Atlantic shore of Mauritania. The Dakhlet Nouadhibou Region, one of the primary administrative divisions of Mauritania, is named after it.

Morocco–Western Sahara border

The Morocco–Western Sahara border is 444 km in length and runs from Atlantic Ocean in the west, to the tripoint with Algeria in the east. The border has existed purely in a de jure sense since Morocco's annexation of Western Sahara in 1975.

Mauritania–Western Sahara border

The Mauritania–Western Sahara border is 1,564 kilometres (972 mi) in length and runs from the tripoint with Algeria in the north-east to the Atlantic Ocean in the south-west.

Algeria–Western Sahara border

The Algeria–Western Sahara border is 41 km in length and runs from the tripoint with Morocco in the north to the tripoint with Mauritania in the south.

References

  1. Installation du maire de la commune de Nouadhibou, Agence Mauritanienne d'Information, 15 October 2018
  2. Wilaya de Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Garde Nationale
  3. Jean Abel Gruvel, Les pêcheries des côtes du Sénégal et des rivières du Sud, A. Challamel, Paris, 1908, p. 13 ISBN   2-11-091134-4
  4. "Encyclopedia Astronautica Index: 1". www.astronautix.com. Retrieved Mar 13, 2019.
  5. "Meteorite smugglers anger scientists". BBC. London. 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2007-06-23.
  6. 1 2 Mauritania, citypopulation.de
  7. "Klimatafel von Nouadhibou (Port Etienne) / Mauretanien" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  8. "Station Nouadhibou" (in French). Météo Climat. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  9. "Nouadhibou : inauguration par le chef de l'état d'un hôpital des spécialités médicales". www.cridem.org. Retrieved Mar 13, 2019.
  10. Mauritania, rsssf.com