Chad Geography

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(République du Tchad; Jumhūrīyat Tashād). State of north-central Africa (1,284,000 km²). Capital: N’djamena. Administrative division: regions (14). Population: 10,435,000 residents (2008 estimate). Language: Arabic and French (official), Sudanese dialects. Religion: Muslims 53.9%, Catholics 20.3%, Protestants 14.3%, animists / traditional beliefs 7.3%, others 4.2%. Monetary unit: CFA franc (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.389 (170th place). Borders: Libya (N), Sudan (E), Central African Republic (S), Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger (W). Member of: OCI, UN, AU and WTO, EU associate.

Geography

Location

Chad borders Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, and Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger to the west.

The landlocked country of Chad (east-west stretching 1,150 km, north-south stretching 1,700 km) lies in the Sahara, the Sahel and the Sudan zone, in the eastern part of the (geological) Chad basin. The hull surface of the Chad Basin (200–500 m above sea level), covered by quicksand and dunes, is dominated by Inselbergs and bordered in the east by the Ennedi and the western foothills of the Darfur, in the north by the Tibesti, which is in the Emi Koussi with 3,415 m above sea level the highest point in the country at sea level. The hydrographic center is Lake Chad, which has no outflow, in which Chad has a share in the west. From August to December (at the end of the rainy season and afterwards) there are large flood plains on the southern shore of Lake Chad, on the Shari and Logone rivers (in the southwest) and on the right tributaries of the Shari (in the southeast). In the northeast are the peculiarly shaped lakes of Ounianga (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012).

Climate

The north has a desert climate with only sporadic precipitation of 20 to 40 mm per year (in the mountains, however, 1,000 mm per year) and large daily temperature differences (around 20 degrees Celsius), the mean absolute maxima are around 50 ° C, the absolute minima around 5 ° C; in the mountains, however, night frosts occur almost every day (around −10 ° C). Further south, in the Sahel, rainfall is gradually increasing; from 15 ° north latitude there is a rainy season that lasts longer and longer from north (July / August) to south (May – September); the annual total of precipitation reaches 1,150 mm in the south and steadily decreases in the north ( N’Djamena 556 mm, Abéché 500 mm). However, years of low precipitation occur regularly, leading to catastrophic droughts. The mean temperature maxima in the south are between 31 ° C (in the rainy season) and 42 ° C (March / April), the mean minima between 14 ° C (December) and 23-25 ​​° C (April / May).

Vegetation

To the north of latitude 16 ° north there is desert with only a few oases, between latitude 16 ° and 13 ° north there is a thorn-bush savannah with acacias and tufted grasses. To the south of latitude 13 ° north there is dry savannah with tall grasses, in the area of ​​the rivers there are flood savannahs and gallery forests; dry forests grow in the extreme south.

Human Geography

The diversity of physical environments given by the position between the Sahara and Africa corresponds to a notable ethnic variety in Chad. The largest group is that of the saras (27.7%), who live in the southern part of the country; they are black Sudanese and their main activities are agriculture and fishing. Another important group is made up of the Arabs (12.3%); followed by the mayo-kebbi (11.5%), the kanem-bornu (9%), the ouaddai (8.7%), the hadiaraï (6.7%), the tandjilé (6.5%), the gorane (6.3%), fitri-batha (4.7%) and fulani (2.4%); other groups are 4.2%. In the semi-desert in northern Chad there are Saharan populations, which represent ancient mixtures between “white” and “black” peoples. Among the major oldest black groups are the Hadiaraï. Due to its position, the country has always been the scene of clashes between peoples of the North and peoples of the South, between nomads and sedentaries, between ranchers and farmers, between animists and Muslims. With colonialism there were no major transformations, because the country, far from the sea, it offered little prospect of exploitation. Population growth was most significant during the second half of the century. XX; subsequently and until the beginning of the eighties there was a setback, and then resumed. According to threergroup, the very low population density is 8 residents / km². About a quarter lives in cities, and the population is distributed according to climate conditions: in the Saharan belt it is concentrated in oases, among which the largest is Faya-Largeau; in the central-southern area, on the other hand, it lives in villages which are the more numerous the more the territory is exploitable in an agricultural sense, such as along the middle course of the Chari river. The French were responsible for the foundation of the main centers, Fort-Lamy (today N’djamena), a good port on the Chari, and Sarh (formerly Fort-Archambault), even more in South.

Chad Geography

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