Facts About Chadian Culture, Geography, and History
Chad is the fifth largest country in Africa as it relates to the land mass area; Chad is about the size of Spain, Kansas, and France combined. It has the popular Lake Chad in the western part of the country from which the country got its name from.
Chad has many hidden fun facts about its culture, history, resources, and hardships. Below are twelve fun facts which we would like you to know about Chad.
12. Some of the best camel racing in the world
The Tibesti Mountains are home to some of the best camel racing in the world. Tibesti literally means “the place where mountain people lives”. It is the home of the Toubou tribe – the mountain people. The Toubou locals put on this splendid camel racing early in the morning. The region has produced champion camel racers that just need to be given public recognition.
11. Chad has a shortage of doctors
For every 23,600 people in Chad, there is only one Chadian doctor available.With less than 500 Chadian doctors to cover the entire population, it is a health challenge because less than 1 doctor for 10,000 people as at the year 2000 according to the World Health Organization, meaning many Chadians will not have access to the services of a qualified doctor.
10. Known as “The Babel Tower of the World“
Chad is also known as “The Babel Tower of the World” because of its cultural diversity. It has over 200 ethnic groups and 100 languages spoken in the country. The size is a contributing factor to the diversity. The official languages are Arabic and French. The name is reminiscent of the biblical tower of babel and the many languages spoken then.
9. It’s national symbols are the goat and the lion
The goat and lion are the national symbols of Chad.The National animal for the northern part of the country is the mountain goat while the southern part is represented by a lion. Both symbols stand opposite each other having the blue and yellow colored shield in the middle with a red sun rising above the shield of the Chadian coat of arms. This was was adopted in 1970. Other parts of the coat of arms are the shield and scroll with the national motto written in French, Unité, Travail, Progrès which can be translated in English as: Unity, Work, Progress.
8. It’s named after Lake Chad
The country is named after Lake Chad. The lake is the largest wetland in Chad and the second largest in Africa. Historically, the locals called the area Chad which inspired the Europeans to call the endorheic lake after the country. Lake Chad is a freshwater lake that has shrunk by as much as 95% since 1963. It is, however, the world 17th largest lake and a great tourist attraction. The lake touches base in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Niger.
7. One of the poorest and most corrupt nations
Sadly, Chad is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world. It was ranked as seventh poorest country by Forbes.com in 2008. It has also appeared on other lists of the most corrupt countries of the world. A major part of the population lives below the poverty line because of the corruption despite its rich resources in gold, crude oil and uranium. One obvious act of corruption is diverting billions of dollars gotten from oil to purchasing weapons instead of investing in the nation.
6. Crude oil drives the Chadian economy
Crude oil has been the primary source of the country’s economy since 2003. Earlier, cotton played a significant role in bringing wealth to the nation. It has resulted in new construction and infrastructure projects like roads. The first pipeline runs through Cameroon, connecting the Doba Basin to the port of Kribi on the Cameroon coast. About Ninety-four thousand barrels of crude oil is produced in a day in the country.
5. World’s 21st largest country by land area
Chad, by land area is world’s 21st largest country. With a 0.845% land mass of the total land mass of the world and a land area of 1,259,200 square kilometers, Chad is smaller than Peru and larger than South Africa. It is the fifth largest country in Africa.
4. Blessed with gold and uranium reserves
Chad has ample reserves of gold and uranium and the mining industry has not received adequate attention and investment since the discovery of oil. The business climate of Chad may be a contributing factor to this dilemma – Chad has been ranked bottom in the world for the ease of doing business by the International Finance Corporation. This means the natural resources may remain untapped for a long time.
3. A musical instrument called the Kakaki signifies power
People of Chad use Kakaki, a long metal trumpet of about three to four meters long in traditional ceremonial music – the instrument signifies power. It is indigenous to the Hausa traditional communities and is also used in neighboring countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Benin-Niger. Another name that it is called is the Waza.
2. Covered by the Sahara Desert in the north, about 1/3 of the country
The Sahara Desert covers much of northern Chad and occupies roughly 1/3rd of the country’s total area. It is the largest hot desert and the third largest desert in the world.The precipitation and rainfall in this area range between 300 to 600 mm every year. The Sahara opens up to the Sahelian belt in the middle of the country. The date palm is the only tree that grows in the Sahara region. The northeast African cheetah is the wildlife that can be found in the Chad area of the desert.
1. Chad’s staple foods are grains
Grains including millet, sorghum, and rice are staple foods of Chad. One of the main dishes of the Chadians is the boule, a thick grain porridge. The country’s dishes and cuisine are created around the available grains that are grown in the country. The northern part generally grow maize, and in the south, millet is the most consumed grain.