The Inner Niger Delta
, also known as the Macina
, is a large area of lakes
in the semi-arid Sahel
area of central Mali
, just south of the Sahara desert
Location and description
The delta consists of the middle course of the Niger River
, between the bifurcated Niger
and its tributary, the Bani
, which from here run north towards the desert. The Niger is the longest river in West Africa. Towns such as the river-port of Mopti
, with its mud-brick Great Mosque
lie in the 400 km-long region.
inhabit the Macina region and the surrounding area, which has a population of over 500,000. Most of the year the area has a hot and dry climate, with hot winds from the nearby Sahara raising the temperature up to 40° C. During the wet season, which lasts from July to September but lasts longer the further south one goes, the swamp floods into a lake and naturally irrigates the land. When the dry season comes, the Macina turns into a network of lakes and channels. Cattle
, pearl millet
, and rice
are its important agricultural products. The Macina inland delta also provides water
for the Malians living there and during the wet season is a haven for large numbers of birds.
Due to its proximity to the widening Sahel
, there have been concerns that the Macina may be getting less rain every year.
In the early 19th century, Seku Amadu
founded a Massina Empire
in the region, building a capital at Hamdullahi
in 1820. The Massina... Read More