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Kayes

Kayi, Xaayi
Commune and city
Men cross a busy street in Kayes, 2006.
Men cross a busy street in Kayes, 2006.
Country Mali
RegionKayes
CercleKayes Cercle
Town founded1880s
Elevation
20 m (68 ft)
Population
 (2006)[1]
 • Total100,583
 estimate
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)

Kayes (Bambara Kayi, Soninké Xaayi) is a city in western Mali on the Sénégal River, with a population of roughly 100,000 people. Kayes is the capital of the administrative region of the same name. The name "Kayes" comes from the Soninké word "karré", which describes a low humid place that floods in rainy season. The city is located 317 miles (510 km) north-west of the capital Bamako.

Climate

Kayes, Mali
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
0
 
34
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0.4
 
37
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0.1
 
39
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0.6
 
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83
 
38
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155
 
34
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216
 
32
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141
 
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41
 
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2.7
 
37
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1.1
 
34
17
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: World Weather Information Service

Kayes is nicknamed the "pressure cooker of Africa" due to its extreme heat; the town is surrounded by iron-rich mountains which contribute to the temperature. Kayes is often described as the hottest continuously-inhabited town in Africa. The average daily high temperature in the city is 35 °C (95 °F), with temperatures usually peaking in April and May at an average 46 °C (115 °F).

History

Prior to French colonial expansion, Kayes was a small village. Its location on the path of the future Dakar-Niger Railway, and the French need for trade centers, led to the creation of the Kayes market town in 1881. It remains a transport hub, primarily for Senegalese trade, to this day. In 1892, Kayes became the capital of the French Sudan; Bamako replaced it as the capital, first of the state of Haut Sénégal-Niger on October 17, 1899, then as the capital of all of French Sudan in 1908.

Economy and transport

The town has an international airport (Kayes Airport), and lies on the Dakar-Niger Railway, in an area rich in gold and iron.

Area

Baobab tree.

Different sites found in and around Kayes include:

Infrastructure

Kayes contains a postal office. Telephone and electricity services are available for residents of the town.[2]

References

  1. Columbia International Affairs Online Data Provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
  2. "Previsions de desserte des communes pour la periode de 2001-2005" (PDF). Mali Reforme Telecom. Retrieved January 24, 2009.

Coordinates: 14°27′N 11°26′W / 14.450°N 11.433°W / 14.450; -11.433