18 Facts About Sahel


Topography of the Sahel is mainly flat; most of the region lies between 200 and 400 meters in elevation.

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Several isolated plateaus and mountain ranges rise from the Sahel, but are designated as separate ecoregions because their flora and fauna are distinct from the surrounding lowlands.

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Sahel is mostly covered in grassland and savanna, with areas of woodland and shrubland.

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Seasonal wetlands of the Sahel are important for migratory birds moving within Africa and on the African-Eurasian flyways.

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The Sahel's climate is similar to, but less extreme than, the climate of the Sahara desert located just to the north.

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Sahel mainly receives a low to very low amount of precipitation annually.

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Sahel is characterized by constant, intense heat, with an unvarying temperature.

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Traditionally, most of the people in the Sahel have been semi-nomads, farming and raising livestock in a system of transhumance, which is probably the most sustainable way of utilizing the Sahel.

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Around 4000 BC, the climate of the Sahara and the Sahel started to become drier at an exceedingly fast pace.

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Sahel states were hindered from expanding south into the forest zone of the north Akan state of Bonoman and Yoruba peoples as mounted warriors were all but useless in the forests and the horses and camels could not survive the heat and diseases of the region.

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Western Sahel fell to France in the late 19th century as part of French West Africa.

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Eastern Sahel did not fall to the European powers but was annexed by Muhammad Ali of Egypt in 1820.

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The Sudanese Sahel became part of independent Sudan in 1956, and South Sudan in turn achieved its independence from Sudan proper in 2011.

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Hundreds of years, the Sahel region has experienced frequent droughts and megadroughts.

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From 1951 to 2004, the Sahel experienced some of the most consistent and severe droughts in Africa.

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Terrorist organizations including Boko Haram, Islamic State and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb operating in the Sahel have greatly exacerbated the violence, extremism and instability of the region.

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Sahel has been the U S Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa since November 2018.

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Violent herder–farmer conflicts in Nigeria, Mali, Sudan and other countries in the Sahel region have been exacerbated by climate change, land degradation, and rapid population growth.

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