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Western Sahara Desert

Western Sahara is an area in North Africa bordering the Atlantic Ocean, between Mauritania and Morocco. Its governance is disputed between Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), but the majority of it is occupied by Morocco. Western Sahara's inhabitants, known as Sahrawi’s, are of Arab and Berber civilization and speak the Hassaniya language of Arabic. The Western Sahara is located on the North West coast of Africa borders Morocco to the North, Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south. The Western Desert is roughly the size of Texas.

Western Sahara is a hot, dry desert; as a result, rain is rare, but flash floods occur. Cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew. Due to the inability of sand to absorb heat, harsh cold nights are common. The landscape of this area is mostly low, flat desert, with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast. Low-lying sand dunes cover the territory.

The economy of Western Sahara mainly depends on fishing and phosphate mining. The territory of Western Sahara receives inadequate rainfall hence the area is poor in agricultural production. Most of the food for the urban population is imported here. All trade and economic activities are only controlled by the Moroccan government in the Western Sahara region. Incomes and standards of living in Western Sahara are substantially below the Moroccan level.

Western Sahara Facts

  • Mauritania (42%)
  • Algeria (24%)
  • Mali (22%)
  • Morocco (12%)
  • 2,481,702 sq km / 958,186 sq mi
  • Area may include lowland areas