Wau, South Sudan

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Wau
واو
Huts outside Wau, 2008
Huts outside Wau, 2008
Motto: Arabic: واو نار English: Wau is Fire
Wau is located in South Sudan
Wau
Wau
Location in South Sudan
Coordinates: 07°42′00″N 28°00′00″E / 7.70000°N 28.00000°E / 7.70000; 28.00000Coordinates: 07°42′00″N 28°00′00″E / 7.70000°N 28.00000°E / 7.70000; 28.00000
Country South Sudan
Region Bahr el Ghazal
State Western Bahr el Ghazal
County Wau County
Elevation 433 m (1,420 ft)
Population (2011 est.)
 • Total 151,320
Time zone GMT+3
Wau cattle market, 2008

Wau (Arabic: واو Wāw; also Wow or Waw) is a city in northwestern South Sudan, on the western bank of the Jur River, in Wau County, Western Bahr el Ghazal State. It lies approximately 650 kilometres (400 mi), northwest of Juba, the capital and largest city in that country.[1]

History[edit]

Wau was initially established as a zariba (fortified base) by slave-traders in the 19th century. During the time of condominium rule, the city became an administrative center.

Burr and Collins in 1994 described Wau:[2] as follows:

No one has ever been “at home” in Wau. Situated on the fringe of the Dinka country, it is surrounded by a host of disorganized and diverse peoples . . . It was and remains a town belonging to no single ethnic group, deriving its importance only from its position as a commercial and administrative center . . . Located in the midst of the vast Nilotic plain hundreds of miles from nowhere, it was miserable under the best of circumstances . . .

During the Second Sudanese Civil War, it was a garrison town of the Khartoum-based Sudanese Armed Forces, and was the scene of extensive fighting in the spring of 1998. Battles erupted again in the town in the spring of 2007, killing several hundred people.

In 2010 the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and Environment (South Sudan) proposed to reshape the city as a giraffe.[3]

Overview[edit]

The city of Wau is the headquarters of Wau County, in which it lies. It also serves as the capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal State, one of the ten (10) states which constitute the Republic of South Sudan. The city is a culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse urban center. Its residents include peoples of Fertit, Dinka, Luo, and Arab ethnicity.

Population and demographics[edit]

In 2008, Wau was the third-largest city in South Sudan, by population, behind Juba the capital and Malakal, in Upper Nile State. At that time, the estimated population of the city of Wau was about 128,100.[4] In 2011, the city's population was estimated at about 151,320.[5]

Year Population[6]
1973 52,800
1983 58,000
1993 84,000
2010 128,100
2011 151,320

Transport and infrastructure[edit]

A train travelling towards Wau
  • Wau is the terminus of a narrow gauge branch line of the Sudan Railways. A plan exists, as of 2008, to open a standard gauge line north from Gulu in Uganda to Wau. Through trains from Khartoum to Mombasa would be possible only if one of the lines was regauged.
  • Wau Airport - The airport, (IATA: WUUICAO: HSWW) has a single paved runway which measures 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) in length.
  • The city hosts University of Bahr El-Ghazal and many secondary and primary schools.
  • The Catholic University of South Sudan maintains a campus in the city.[7]
  • Wau Stadium - A soccer stadium in the middle of town
  • The Cathedral in Wau is known as the Largest of former Sudan
  • There are five (5) main roads out of town:
  • Southern National Park - Located about 100 kilometres (62 mi), by road, south of Wau along A44-South

Economy[edit]

Wau is a vibrant economic center in the newly established Republic of South Sudan. The major contributors to the local economy include:

Geography and climate[edit]

Wau has two seasons: a dry season from November to March, and a rainy season the rest of the year, as depicted in the referenced box below:

Climate data for Wau, South Sudan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 35
(95)
36
(97)
37
(99)
37
(99)
35
(95)
33
(91)
31
(88)
31
(88)
32
(90)
33
(91)
35
(95)
35
(95)
28
(82)
Daily mean °C (°F) 31
(88)
27
(81)
29
(84)
29
(84)
28
(82)
27
(81)
25
(77)
25
(77)
26
(79)
26
(79)
27
(81)
26
(79)
27.2
(81)
Average low °C (°F) 28
(82)
18
(64)
21
(70)
22
(72)
21
(70)
21
(70)
20
(68)
20
(68)
20
(68)
20
(68)
19
(66)
17
(63)
21
(70)
Precipitation mm (inches) 0
(0)
0
(0)
20
(0.79)
60
(2.36)
130
(5.12)
160
(6.3)
190
(7.48)
200
(7.87)
160
(6.3)
120
(4.72)
10
(0.39)
0
(0)
1,050
(41.33)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 0 0 2 5 8 10 11 11 10 8 1 0 70
 % humidity 34 31 35 50 59 64 70 71 67 63 50 40 52.8
Source: Weatherbase[10]

Notable people[edit]

Some of the notable people from Wau include the following:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ calculate travel time. "Estimated Road Distance Between Juba And Wau". Travelmath.com. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  2. ^ * Burr, J.M. and Collins, R.O. (1994) Requiem for the Sudan: War, Drought and Disaster Relief on the Nile. Westview Press, Boulder, CO, USA, p. 74
  3. ^ A city shaped like a giraffe? Toronto Star, Wed Aug 18 2010, by Maggie Fick, Associated Pres
  4. ^ "Estimated Population of Sudanese Cities & Towns In 2010". World-gazetteer.com. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  5. ^ "Estimated Population of Waw In 2011". Wolframalpha.com. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  6. ^ "Estimated Population of Wau (1973 - 2010)". World-gazetteer.com. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  7. ^ Sean, Michael (2010-11-11). "Catholic University Maintains A Campus In Wau". Ncronline.org. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  8. ^ Equity Bank Expands In South Sudan
  9. ^ KCB Expands Branch Network In South Sudan[dead link]
  10. ^ "Weatherbase - Waw, South Sudan". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 

External links[edit]