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Banjul (UK: /bænˈl/,[2][3] US: /ˈbɑːnl/),[2][3][4][5] officially the City of Banjul and formerly known as Bathurst, is the capital and fourth largest city of The Gambia. It is the centre of the eponymous administrative division which is home to an estimated 400,000 residents, making it The Gambia's largest and densely populated metropolitan area. Banjul is on St Mary's Island (Banjul Island), where the Gambia River enters the Atlantic Ocean. The population of the city proper is 31,301, with the Greater Banjul Area, which includes the City of Banjul and the Kanifing Municipal Council, at a population of 413,397 (2013 census).[6] The island is connected to the mainland to the west and the rest of Greater Banjul Area via bridges. There are also ferries linking Banjul to the mainland at the other side of the river.

Banjul
City
Downtown Banjul
Downtown Banjul
Banjul is located in The Gambia
Banjul
Banjul
Location of Banjul in the Gambia
Banjul is located in Africa
Banjul
Banjul
Banjul (Africa)
Coordinates: 13°27′11″N 16°34′39″W / 13.45306°N 16.57750°W / 13.45306; -16.57750Coordinates: 13°27′11″N 16°34′39″W / 13.45306°N 16.57750°W / 13.45306; -16.57750
Country Gambia
DivisionBanjul
Founded1816
Government
 • MayorRohey Malick Lowe
Area
 • City12 km2 (5 sq mi)
 • Urban
93 km2 (36 sq mi)
Elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Population
 (2013 census)
 • City31,301
 • Density2,600/km2 (6,800/sq mi)
 • Urban
413,397
 • Urban density4,400/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)
HDI (2017)0.552[1]
medium

Contents

ToponymyEdit

Banjul takes its name from the Mandé people who gathered specific fibres on the island, which were used in the manufacture of ropes. Bang julo is the Mandinka (Mande) word for rope fibre.

HistoryEdit

 
A sketch of Bathurst, published in 1824
 
Arch 22 at the entrance to Banjul. The statue of the former president was removed following democratic elections in 2016.

In 1651 Banjul was leased by The Duke of Courland and Semigallia (German: Herzog von Kurland und Semgallen) from the King of Kombo, as part of the Couronian colonization.[7]

On 23 April 1816, the King of Kombo ceded Banjul Island to Alexander Grant, the British commandant. Grant founded Banjul as a trading post and base, constructing houses and barracks for controlling entrance to the Gambia estuary and suppressing the slave trade.[8] The British renamed Banjul Island as St. Mary's Island and named the new town Bathurst, after the 3rd Earl Bathurst, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies at the time. Streets were laid out in a modified grid pattern, and named after Allied generals at the Battle of Waterloo. The town became the centre of British activity in the Gambia Colony and Protectorate.[9]

After independence, the town's name was changed to Banjul in 1973.[8] On 22 July 1994, Banjul was the scene of a bloodless military coup d'état in which President Dawda Jawara was overthrown and replaced by Yahya Jammeh. To commemorate this event, Arch 22 was built as an entrance portal to the capital. The gate is 35 metres tall and stands at the centre of an open square. It houses a textile museum.

CultureEdit

SportEdit

Banjul is the destination of the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, a charity road rally.

EconomyEdit

Banjul is the country's economic and administrative centre and includes the Central Bank of the Gambia. Peanut processing is the country's principal industry, but beeswax, palm wood, palm oil, and skins and hides are also shipped from the port of Banjul.[11]

Banjul is also the home of the Gambia Technical Training Institute. GTTI is currently engaged in a partnership with non-profit organization Power Up Gambia to develop a solar energy training program.

ClimateEdit

Banjul has a very warm climate year round. Under the Köppen climate classification, Banjul features a tropical wet and dry climate. The city features a lengthy dry season, spanning from November to June and a relatively short wet season covering the remaining four months. However, during those four months, Banjul tends to see heavy precipitation. August is usually the rainiest month, with on average 500 mm of precipitation falling. Temperatures are somewhat constant, though it tends to be slightly cooler during the wet season than the dry season.

According to a Gambian government minister, Banjul is at risk of submerging under water by a metre rise in sea levels as a result of climate change and global warming.[12]

Climate data for Banjul
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.2
(99.0)
38.9
(102.0)
40.6
(105.1)
41.1
(106.0)
41.1
(106.0)
37.8
(100.0)
33.9
(93.0)
33.3
(91.9)
34.4
(93.9)
37.2
(99.0)
35.6
(96.1)
35.6
(96.1)
41.1
(106.0)
Average high °C (°F) 31.7
(89.1)
33.5
(92.3)
33.9
(93.0)
33.0
(91.4)
31.9
(89.4)
31.9
(89.4)
30.8
(87.4)
30.2
(86.4)
31.0
(87.8)
31.8
(89.2)
32.7
(90.9)
31.9
(89.4)
32.0
(89.6)
Average low °C (°F) 15.7
(60.3)
16.6
(61.9)
17.9
(64.2)
18.8
(65.8)
20.3
(68.5)
22.9
(73.2)
23.6
(74.5)
23.3
(73.9)
22.6
(72.7)
22.2
(72.0)
18.8
(65.8)
16.2
(61.2)
19.9
(67.8)
Record low °C (°F) 7.2
(45.0)
10.0
(50.0)
11.7
(53.1)
12.2
(54.0)
13.9
(57.0)
18.3
(64.9)
20.0
(68.0)
20.0
(68.0)
17.2
(63.0)
16.1
(61.0)
12.2
(54.0)
8.9
(48.0)
7.2
(45.0)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0.5
(0.02)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
1.3
(0.05)
62.7
(2.47)
232.4
(9.15)
346.8
(13.65)
255.1
(10.04)
75.8
(2.98)
1.6
(0.06)
0.7
(0.03)
976.9
(38.46)
Average rainy days 0 0 0 0 0 5 14 19 16 6 0 0 60
Average relative humidity (%) 47 47 50 58 67 73 81 85 84 80 69 55 67
Mean monthly sunshine hours 207.7 237.3 266.6 252.0 229.4 201.0 182.9 189.1 183.0 217.0 246.0 210.8 2,622.8
Mean daily sunshine hours 6.7 8.4 8.6 8.4 7.4 6.7 5.9 6.1 6.1 7.0 8.2 6.8 7.2
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization[13]
Source #2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes, humidity, and sun)[14]

TransportEdit

 
Banjul ferry

The primary method reaching the city by land is by roadway. A highway connects Banjul to Serrekunda which crosses the Denton Bridge, however ferries provide another mode of transportation.[15] As of May 2014, ferries sail regularly from Banjul across the River Gambia to Barra.[16] The city is served by the Banjul International Airport. Banjul is on the Trans–West African Coastal Highway connecting it to Dakar and Bissau, and will eventually provide a paved highway link to 11 other nations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

DistrictsEdit

 
Districts of Banjul

Banjul Division (Greater Banjul Area) is divided into two districts:

EducationEdit

Places of worshipEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ a b "Banjul". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Banjul" (US) and "Banjul". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  4. ^ "Banjul". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  5. ^ "Banjul". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  6. ^ "The Gambia 2013 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Results" (PDF). Gambia Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  7. ^ Arnold Hughes; David Perfect (2008). "Courland, Duchy Of". Historical Dictionary of The Gambia. Scarecrow Press. pp. 43–4. ISBN 978-0-8108-6260-9.
  8. ^ a b "History of Banjul". Accessgambia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-29.
  9. ^ Arnold Hughes; David Perfect (2008). "Banjul". Historical Dictionary of The Gambia. Scarecrow Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-0-8108-6260-9.
  10. ^ "Banjul Gambia | Travel information". HappyTellus.com. 2009-06-14. Archived from the original on 2012-10-04. Retrieved 2012-10-29.
  11. ^ "Gambia, The". State.gov. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2012-10-29.
  12. ^ Gambia: Banjul Risks Sinking As Sea Level Rises, Africa: Allafrica.com, 2012, retrieved 11 October 2012
  13. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Banjul". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Klimatafel von Banjul-Yundum (Flugh.) / Gambia" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Denton Bridge bridge, Banjul, Gambia". Gambia. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  16. ^ Virtual Tourist, The Gambia Transportation
  17. ^ "École française de Banjul Bakau, Gambie" (Archive). Agency for French Teaching Abroad. Retrieved on April 27, 2015. "Adresse Atlantic road - Fajara, P.O. Box 4682, Bakau Ville: Bakau Pays: Gambie"
  18. ^ J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann, ‘‘Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices’’, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2010, p. 1172

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit