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Gory Gopela
Commune and town
Country Mali
RegionKayes Region
CercleKayes Cercle
 • Commune and town127.5 sq mi (330.3 km2)
 (2009 census)[1]
 • Commune and town7,712
 • Density60/sq mi (24/km2)
 • Metro
 • Ethnicities
Soninke, Khassonké, Bambara, and Fula
 • Religions
Islam, Christianity
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)

Gory Gopela is a rural commune and small town and in the Cercle of Kayes in western Mali. In 2009 it had a total population of 7,712, with around 3,600 people in the main town.[2]

Geography and climate

Gory Gopela is a rural commune, located over 500 kilometres from Bamako and about 25 kilometres north of Kayes city in the south-west of Mali.[3] The commune, which covers a total area of 330 km², is bounded by the municipality of Koussané in the north, by Kouloun in the south, and by Bangassi in the east.[2]

The commune contains a number of villages of note, which include Koumaréfara (pop. 1,520), Bougountinti (pop. 1,300), Tichy-Gansoye (pop. 1,115) and the main town of Gory-Göpel (Gory Gopela) (pop. 3,605). The smaller village of Dag-Dag (pop. 553) also lies within the commune, though facilities in Dag-Dag are considerably lesser than the larger villages.[2]

The climate of Gory Gopela is Sudano-Sahel. Gory Gopela is predominantly dry and hot, and there are three seasons: a rainy season, a warm season and a cold season.[2] Rainfall is very low for much of the year, hindering agriculture; this is worsened by the lack of agricultural land fallow.[2] Soil erosion is a problem in Gory Gopela, where excessive removal of woodland and dry soils prone to soil erosion have contributed to a declining soil fertility.[2]


Administration of the commune is led by the mayor, deputy mayor, the councilors, a secretary, a director, and a secretary typist.[2]


In 2009 the commune had a population of compared to 5,296 in 1968.[1]

The population are primarily Soninke, Khassonké, Bambara, and Fula[4] in ethnicity.[2] The population is young, with 58% of the population aged 0 to 18 as of 2006.[2] The population density is 24 people per square kilometre. Over 800 immigrants are living in the commune, some of them aid workers from countries such as France, USA and Hong Kong but also people from Gabon, Libya and Democratic Republic of the Congo.[2]


The main industry in Gory is agriculture; millet, maize, groundnuts, and sorghum are important crops.[2] Some farmers have access to fertilisers and improved seeds, though increasing production and yields is difficult given the commune's climate.[2] The commune has more than 3,600 cattle, with over 660 sheep and 700 goats and donkeys.[2] Fishing is practiced only during the winter. In the town and the larger villages a number of the population are employed as potters, blacksmiths, masons, mechanics etc.[2]

Transport and communications are underdeveloped, and people are transported to and from Kayes by the very few who own vehicles. As of 2006 the commune did not have any landline networks.[2] There are wells in all the main villages although drinking water is under construction. The Malian State Water Department, supported by Eau de Paris, has worked educate and train locals to ensure sustainable access to water and sanitation and awareness of hygiene.[5] In 2001, Eau de Paris proposed to integrate into the project the teaching of children about water development, particularly the schooling of girls.[5] In 2002, Eau de Paris in association with the AESN, ARGF and DNH organised the first water lesson in the all of Mali in Gory. Teachers from Paris have worked together with a Malian primary school manager to organise the water lessons and inform children about the design of water projects.[5] The schooling was recognised by the Malian government and in 2004-2005, and an intergovernmental committee in Mali for Water and Education was established to promote water knowledge in other parts of the country.[5]

There is one medical facility in the commune in the town of Gory. There is one doctor, three nurses, a midwife, and a pharmacist.[2] Malaria is common in the area.


Educational changes have been brought about to Gory Gopela by a $950,000 UNESCO-Mali project, funded by the Norwegian government.[3] A literacy project has made considerable development in educating women, most of whom have never been to school, to read and write their language, Khassonké. The improving education has also made women in the commune more knowledgeable about their crops and according to the local president of the association, Sindy Kanté. “We’ve put together a stock of seeds, the only one in the village, and we now grow vegetables over more than two hectares.”[3] Education has also taught local women dye techniques, how to keep accounts, and how to process local fruit and vegetables, thus having a positive effect on local economic productivity.[3]

Female education has also changed the pereception of some mothers who might have been opposed by their daughters going to school and neglecting family duties of work. In 1996, before the project started, just over 100 children attended the village’s only school. Now there are 420, including 150 girls, attending classes every day.[3] Dafa Kamissoko became the first girl in the village to gain a baccalaureate (graduation certificate).[3]

Gori Gopela is not the only village where there are educational facilities, there are 35 others in the region which are covered by the project and a similar scheme has been started in the Mopti Region.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Resultats Provisoires RGPH 2009 (Région de Kayes) (PDF) (in French), République de Mali: Institut National de la StatistiqueCS1 maint: unrecognized language (link).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 "Plan de securite alimentaire commune rurale de Gory Gopela" (PDF) (in French). USAID, Commissariat à la Sécurité Alimentaire (CSA). 2006. Retrieved January 24, 2009.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Empowering Women". UNESCO Mali. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
  4. French: [Peul] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help); Fula: [Fulɓe] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Local Actions at 4th World Water Forum (2006)". CSDWAND. March 2, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2009.

External links

fr:Gory Gopéla it:Gory Gopéla