- Sénégal River
The Sénégal River is a 1790 km long
riverin West Africa, that forms the border between Senegaland Mauritania. It was called "Bambotus" by Pliny the Elder(from Phoenician "behemoth" for hippopotamus) and "Nias" by Claudius Ptolemy. It was visited by Hanno the Carthaginian around 450 BC at his navigation from Carthagethrough the pillars of Heraklesto Theon Ochema ( Mount Cameroon) in the Gulf of Guinea. There was trade from here to the MediterraneanWorld, until the destruction of Carthage and its west African trade net in 146 BC.
As it is formed by the
confluenceof the Semefé (Bakoy) and Bafing rivers in Bafoulabé, it is considered a sweet water river. The Semefé and Bafing rivers have their mutual source in Guinea; the Bafing River flows through Maliand the Semefé is on the Malinese-Senegalese border.
Approaching its mouth, the Senegal passes through
Biffecheand the island on which the city of Saint-Louis, Senegalis located, then turns south. It is separated from the Atlantic Oceanby a thin strip of sand called the Langue de Barbariebefore it pours into the oceanitself. The river has two large dams along its course, the Manantali Damin Mali, and the Maka-Diama damon the Mauritania-Senegal border, near the outlet to the sea. The Manantali dam was build as a reservoir. The Maka-Diama dam prevents access of salt water into the inner country.
The Senegal River has a
drainage basinof 483,181 km² and an estimated annual discharge of 8 million km³. Important tributaries are the Faleme River, Karakoro River, and the Gorgol River.
In 1972 Mali, Mauritania and Senegal founded the
Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal(OMVS) to manage the river basin. Guineajoined in 2005.
* [http://zope0.itcilo.org/delta/lmdd2003/news/1067611432/1068825691/presentation%20ressources%20en%20eau%20senegal.ppt the Hydrology of Senegal (powerpoint presentation)]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.