Béchar

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Béchar
بشار
ⴱⴻⵛⵛⴰⵔ
city
City Béchar
Gourai.jpg
Location of Béchar commune within Béchar Province
Location of Béchar commune within Béchar Province
Béchar is located in Algeria
Béchar
Béchar
Location of Béchar within Algeria
Coordinates: 31°37′N 2°13′W / 31.617°N 2.217°W / 31.617; -2.217Coordinates: 31°37′N 2°13′W / 31.617°N 2.217°W / 31.617; -2.217
Country  Algeria
Province Béchar
District Béchar District
Government
 • PMA Seats 23
Area[1]
 • Total 5,050 km2 (1,950 sq mi)
Elevation 747 m (2,451 ft)
Population (2008)[2]
 • Total 165,627
 • Density 33/km2 (85/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+01)
Postal code 08000
ONS code 0801

Béchar (Arabic: بشار‎), formerly known as Colomb-Béchar, is the capital city of Béchar Province, Algeria. It is also a commune, coextensive with Béchar District, of Béchar Province. In 2008 the city had a population of 165,627,[2] up from 134,954 in 1998,[3] with an annual growth rate of 2.1%.[2] The commune covers an area of 5,050 square kilometres (1,950 sq mi).[1]

Before coal was found here in 1907, Béchar was a small populated town like many others in the region. It thrived on the activity of the coal mines until petroleum production seized the market.[4]

Leatherwork and jewellery are notable products of Béchar. Dates, vegetables, figs, cereals and almonds are produced near Béchar. There are bituminous coal reserves near Béchar, but they are not exploited to their greatest potential because of transportation costs are too high relative to that from the oil and gas fields of eastern Algeria.[5] The city was once the site of a French Foreign Legion post.

The Kenadsa longwave transmitter, whose masts are the tallest structures in Algeria at 357 metres (1,171 ft), is found near Béchar.[6]

Location[edit]

Béchar is located in the northwestern region of Algeria roughly 58 kilometres (36 mi) south of the Moroccan border.

Geography[edit]

Béchar lies at an elevation of 747 metres (2,451 ft) on the banks of Oued Béchar,[5] which runs through the city from northeast to southwest. The rocky highlands of the Djebel Béchar overlook the city from the southeast, reaching 1,206 metres (3,957 ft) to the east of the city. Further to the northeast the Djebel Antar range rises even higher, to 1,953 metres (6,407 ft). The northwest, by contrast, is a flat rocky reg.

Climate[edit]

Béchar has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh),[7] with extremely hot summers and warm winters despite the high elevation. There is very little rain throughout the year, and summers are especially dry.

Climate data for Béchar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16.9
(62.4)
18.8
(65.8)
23.4
(74.1)
27.2
(81)
33.9
(93)
39.5
(103.1)
42.1
(107.8)
41.6
(106.9)
37.8
(100)
30.9
(87.6)
24.1
(75.4)
17
(63)
27.6
(81.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.7
(49.5)
12.7
(54.9)
16.4
(61.5)
20.3
(68.5)
24.9
(76.8)
30.2
(86.4)
34.2
(93.6)
33.4
(92.1)
28.3
(82.9)
21.6
(70.9)
14.9
(58.8)
10.5
(50.9)
21.6
(70.9)
Average low °C (°F) 3.5
(38.3)
6
(43)
9.8
(49.6)
13.7
(56.7)
18.3
(64.9)
23.5
(74.3)
26.9
(80.4)
26.5
(79.7)
21.9
(71.4)
15.6
(60.1)
9.2
(48.6)
4.8
(40.6)
15.2
(59.4)
Record low °C (°F) −5
(23)
−4
(25)
−2.1
(28.2)
0
(32)
7.8
(46)
10.1
(50.2)
16
(61)
17
(63)
12
(54)
1
(34)
−0.1
(31.8)
−3.9
(25)
−5
(23)
Precipitation mm (inches) 9
(0.35)
8.5
(0.335)
8.8
(0.346)
7.5
(0.295)
5.3
(0.209)
5
(0.2)
0.7
(0.028)
2
(0.08)
7.4
(0.291)
10.6
(0.417)
13.6
(0.535)
8.2
(0.323)
86.6
(3.409)
Avg. precipitation days 2.4 2.4 2.4 1.9 2 1.6 0.8 1.4 3.2 3.2 2.4 2.1 25.8
 % humidity 52 45.5 34.7 30.3 28.3 23.3 18.3 21.8 32.7 41.8 50.1 56.6 36.3
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization (UN)[8]
Source #2: NOAA (1961-1990),[9] climatebase.ru (record, mean, yearly temperatures and humidity)[10]

Economy[edit]

Agriculture is an important industry in Béchar. The commune has a total of 8,384 hectares (20,720 acres) of arable land, of which 5,100 hectares (13,000 acres) is irrigated.[11] There are a total of 109,000 date palms planted in the commune, occupying 910 hectares (2,200 acres).[12] Other crops include vegetables, figs, cereals and almonds. As of 2009 there were 19,067 sheep, 16,664 goats, 1,766 camels, and 444 cattle. There were also 126,000 chickens in 20 buildings.[13]

There is some tourism in the city, with 10 hotels[14] and tourist attractions including sand dunes, palm groves, the old ksar, and an ancient fort.[15]

Other industries in the city include coal mining, and the production of leatherwork and jewellery.

Infrastructure and housing[edit]

98% of Béchar's population is connected to drinking water,[16] 95% is connected to the sewerage system,[17] and 99% (including 33,180 houses) have access to electricity.[18] There are 6 fuel service stations in the town.[19]

Béchar has a total of 33,245 houses, of which 25,499 are occupied, giving an occupation rate of 6.5 inhabitants per occupied building.[20]

Transportation[edit]

The main road through Béchar is the N6 highway; it connects to Mecheria, Saida, Mascara and Oran to the north, and to Adrar and Timiaouine to the south. There is a total length of 207.5 kilometres (128.9 mi) of roads in the commune.[21]

It is served by a narrow gauge railway station of SNTF, which in 2008, may be replaced with a standard gauge railway. From 1941 to 1963 it was reached by the standard gauge Mediterranean-Niger-Railway.

Béchar is served by Boudghene Ben Ali Lotfi Airport, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) to the northwest of the city.

Education[edit]

The city is home to the University of Béchar.

There are 68 elementary schools in Béchar, with 777 classrooms including 581 in use.[22] There are a total of 33,511 school students.[23]

8.3% of the population has a tertiary education, and another 23.0% has competed secondary education.[24] The overall literacy rate is 86.4%, and is 91.4% among males and 81.4% among females.[25]

Health[edit]

Béchar has 2 hospitals, 4 polyclinics, 17 room care facilities, a maternity ward, 36 private pharmacies, 5 medical operating theatres, and a psychiatric service.[26]

Culture[edit]

Béchar has a cinema with 850 seats, as well as a museum.[27]

Religion[edit]

Béchar has 27 operational mosques, with another 19 under construction.[28]

Historical population[edit]

Year Population[2][29]
1936 5,100
1954 43,300
1966 46,500
1977 56,600 (town)
72,800 (municipality)
1987 107,300
1998 134,500
2008 165,627

Localities[edit]

The commune is composed of 8 localities:[30]

  • Béchar Centre
  • Debdaba
  • Béchar Djedid
  • Ouakda
  • Benzireg
  • Hassi Haouari
  • Zouzfana
  • Gharassa
  • Manouarar Nekheila

Béchar Djedid is located 5 kilometres (3 mi) south of the city and was constructed as housing for coal miners working in Kénadsa.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Population, Area and Density per Commune" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Population: Béchar Wilaya" (in French). Office National des Statistiques Algérie. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Algeria Communes". Statoids. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Historical" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Béchar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Bechar (Algeria)". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Kenadsa Long Wave Transmission Masts". Structurae. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Climate: Bechar - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table (altitude: 779m)". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Weather Information for Bechar". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Climate Normals for Bechar". Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Bechar, Algeria". Climatebase.ru. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Distribution of Agricultural Land" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Plant Productions" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Animal Production" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Census of Hotels" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Tourism Sites and Monuments" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Drinking Water" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Sewerage Networks" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "Electrification" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Fuel Distribution" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "Housing" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "Density Kilometres" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "School Infrastructure" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  23. ^ "Number of Pupils" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  24. ^ "Structure relative de la population résidente des ménages ordinaires et collectifs âgée de 6 ans et plus selon le niveau d'instruction et la commune de résidence." (in French). Office National des Statistiques Algérie. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  25. ^ "Taux d'analphabétisme et taux d'alphabétisation de la population âgée de 15 ans et plus, selon le sexe et la commune de résidence ." (in French). Office National des Statistiques Algérie. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  26. ^ "Health Facilities by Commune" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  27. ^ "Cinemas and Museums" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "Mosques and Koranic Rooms" (in French). Official Website of the Wilaya of Bechar. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  29. ^ populstat.info
  30. ^ "Décret n° 84-365, fixant la composition, la consistance et les limites territoriale des communes. Wilaya d'El Oued" (in French). Journal officiel de la République Algérienne,. 19 December 1984. p. 1489. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013 or before. Retrieved 2 March 2013.  Check date values in: |archivedate= (help)

External links[edit]