Millennium Challenge Account-Mali
Mali is composed at about 90% of vast plains and low plateau, with an altitude which does not exceed 300 m. Some mountains such as the Mont Manding, the Adrar des Iforas and the cliffs of Bandiagara stand in the middle of these flat lands. Population distribution within the territory of Mali is deeply influenced by the bioclimatic conditions.
Mali, from inside is quite hilly:
The Plateau Manding in the South-West (400 to 800 m) ends in the West by the cliffs of Tambaoura and extensive plains of Falémé and Diourou is extended by the Kaarta.
In the East, the cliffs of Bandiagara, ending the escarpments and incised gashes; the plateau Dogon stretches from the lowlands of Macina to Mount Hombori where the hills rise up to 1155 m and dominate the plain of the Gourma.
In the North and North-West large ergs cover the plateaus and plains of the Boucle du Niger. In the extreme North of the country, the plateaus follow one another, covered with pebbles: they are the ergs. A coat of sand comes after the plains: the Adrar des Iforas in which dunes come one after the other (crystalline massif of the Hoggar). Plains and plateaus share the rest of the Gourma and Azaouad country.
In the South, the Sudan zone is covered by a mosaic of savannah, clear woodlands and gallery forests.
Mali is watered by two large rivers that spring from the Fouta Djallon in Guinea. The Senegal River hindered in its course by the Gouina and Felou falls, receives the Falémé River in its right bank.
The River Niger (a total of 4, 700 km, including 1, 700 in Mali.) offers many excursion opportunities, such as the water stretch of Sélingué. The Niger is navigable over 1,308 km and is divided into several branches: the interior Delta in Macina is flooded from September to December. The plain of 20,000 square km during the level drop period turns into a vast grassland with lakes: The Debo Lake, the Galado Lake. The Faguibine Lake, 150 km from Timbuktu, covers 650 square km and is full with fish.
The climate of Mali is characterized by three seasons:
A dry season from March to June.
A rainy season from June to September; and an off-season or cold season from October to February with a dry Saharan wind, the Harmattan
Dominant characteristics of the climate
The latitude situation (between 11 ° 1 ° N and 2 ° 51 ° N) and the land lock aspect affect the climate components and make out of Mali an inter-tropical State with outstanding Sudano Sahelian characteristics. Temperatures vary between 24 ° C in January to 35 ° C in May. In the Niger Delta, climate is softened by land flooding over 300 km long and 100 km wide.
The hydrographic network is built around the basin slopes of the two rivers, both located in the southern part of the country, the Senegal River and the Niger River. They provide an essential part of transport. However, they do not flow in a sustainable way: the Niger is navigable during six months per year, between July and January. It forms a long loop of 1, 700 km at the end of which it is divided into many branches forming a true "inland delta". Its tributaries are found in the South-West and North-East. This zone is an area of 50,000 square km, or approximately 6% of the total land area. The Niger River plays a major role in the economy and the spatial development and organization of the country.
The hydrographic system of Mali, composed by the basin of the Upper Senegal and that of the medium Niger, is dependent both on the geographic shape of the country that stretches over 15 degrees of latitude and on the relief and climate data. Permanent water streams are exclusively concentrated in the southern and central part of the country, while the North is characterized by the presence of many fossil valleys, such as Tilemsi (Gao), recalling the period when the Sahara was a more wet region. This imbalance in water location helps to explain the unequal use of Malian space by the population. Models of Mali are characterized by dullness and monotony. The relief is mostly tabular, sometimes ending with large slopes, called "cliffs". Dune formations, often fixed, are very extensive in the Northern and Central regions. Altitudes are mostly between 200 and 350 m and rarely exceed 500 meters.