aof document

Documents related to the construction of the government center at Koulouba (French Soudan, 1905-1907)
in AOF Series P 196

Notes © 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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Copie d'un traité de gré à gré n°188 pour fourniture
d'appareils pour tout à l'égout
(July 17, 1905)

This is the agreement for the construction of sewers at Koulouba.

Rapport par le Chemin de Fer de Kayes au Niger, "Avant-projet de l'installation à Koulouba
du gouvernement et des Servies de la Senegambie-Niger"
(March 26, 1906)

In the discussion of water needs, this author asuumed that a European needed 500 liters and an African needed 50 liters. The author estimated that the population would contain 1,000 Europeans and 4,000 Africans. That works out to a demand for 700 cubic meters of water per day, or about 10 liters per second.

This report also contains a small hand-drawn map that shows the two high points behind Bamako. One is Koulouba and the other is called Diamadia Koulouba (NOTE: Eventually, the French designated this Pointe G).

The maps shows a water tower at the foot of these two hills, at a height of about 30 meters above Bamako and 40 meters above the Niger River. Koulouba is at a height of 426 meters above sea level, while Diamadia Koulouba is 441 meters above the sea. The Niger is 260 meters above sea level.

Notice Conçernant les Installations à Traction Mechanique et Electrique
à Crèer à Bamako
(Kayes, July 23, 1907)

The Niger River is navigable for a distance of 450 kilometers above Bamako, and for about 1,400 kilometers downstream to Gao. There is already a steamship service operating as far as Kabara, the port for Tombouctou, at a distance of 912 kilometers from Bamako. Bamako's central location is so obvious that nearly 25 commerical houses have established themselves there.

Bamako is located between the escarpment (cliff) of Bélédugu and the river, below the site where Borgnis-Desbordes built the first French fort in 1883. The railroad penetrates this escarpment via the pass of Nere Koulou and follows the valley of the Karako creek down to a station on the north side of town.

The ridge of Koulouba is about 160 meters higher than Bamako and has a better climate; for that reason it was chosen for the seat of government. At the rate construction is progressing, Koulouba should be ready by the beginning of 1908.

The two ridges (Koulouba and Diamadia-Koulouba) are separated by the ravine of Balasogo. The road from the train station to Koulouba follows this ravine. There are plans to build a hospital on Diamadia Koulouba.