aof document

Public Works à Mopti (1919)
in AOF Series P 195

Notes © 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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Lt. Gouverneur du Haut Sénégal-Niger to Gouverneur-Général de l'AOF,
"Rapport sur la situation actuelle de Mopti" (Dakar, January 25, 1919)

Mopti was prosperous due to trade from regions of Macina and the Niger bend. In particular, there is trade in rice, wool and hides.

Mopti hosts comptoirs from the most important firms in the colony. It also houses "les services adminstratifs" which include offices government lodging, a school, a medical dispensary and warehouses.

Mopti's biggest problem is a lack of space. About 2,000 Africans workers live on an island named Komoguel that is connected to Mopti by a dike. In addition, there is a transient population associated with the transport of products to market, who tend to sleep wherever they can find the space.

After rejecting proposals to extend the area of Mopti with fill and dikes, the report proposes the purchase of "ilôt de Charloyville" from its owner, M. Mourot, and to move the administration there. The author listed the items that needed to be transferred: office, lodgings, the "tribunal indigène" (native court), prison, a warehouse, the camp for the guards and housing for African personnel. The author proposed leaving behind the post office, the doctor, the école regional (eventually to be transferred to Djenne) and the dispensary (not yet built). the author also recommended the construction of a school for Africans at Komoguel

Lt. Gouverneur du Haut Sénégal-Niger to Gouverneur-Général de l'AOF, N°AE 217 (Bamako, June 17, 1919)

This is the cover letter for a report by "M. l'Ingénieur Chef du Service des Travaux Publics de la Colonie" concerning the enlargement of Mopti and the construction of a railroad arriving from the south.

The engineer's report rejected the route that passes by Bandiagara because it is mountainous, dry and underpopulated. Instead, it recommends a route that passes along the Niger via Sofara (60 kilometers south of Mopti on the Bani River) because it is accessbile to steam ships during high water.

The engineer also suggests that the station be located on the north side of Mopti along the Bani River, where it can be easily reached no matter what route is chosen, and where it will be safe from floods and erosion.