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Sahara Desert houses many historical relics

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By Okunloye Abiodun

Travelers visiting Djado have marveled at the "KSARS" for generations.

One of the most amazing and rewarding sites in the Sahel can be found after a long journey over the desert of northern Niger: settlements made of salt and clay that have been built on top of rocks, with the Saharan sands laying siege below. Djado is located in the oasis region of Kawar, 1,300 km (807 miles ) from the capital Niamey and close to Niger’s contentious border with Libya. Travellers visiting Djado have marvelled at the “KSARS” for generations, looking at the crenellated walls, watchtowers, hidden passages, and wells that attest to the work of a brilliant but unknown hand.

There has never been a complete explanation for who established this outpost in such a charred and barren place or why they decided to build it. The mystery of why it was abandoned is almost as intriguing. There has never been any attempt at scientific dating of archaeological excavation to unravel the mystery. In the past, Kawar served as a crossroads for merchant caravans travelling over the Sahara. In modern times, however, it has become a hub for the movement of illegal drugs and weapons. Its unsettling reputation discourages all but the most hardy of visitors.

Criminals have taken refuge in the surrounding mountains.

Djado sites haven’t seen any foreign tourists since 2002, according to Chirfa Mayor Sidi Aba Laouel. The local economy may benefit from increased tourism if conditions are favourable for visitors. The discovery of gold in 2014 was an opportunity of sorts. Miners flocked there from all over West Africa, bringing with them new life and some economic relief. However, they were joined by criminals who took refuge in the surrounding mountains. Due to the frequent and devastating raids, few newcomers appear interested in visiting the KSARS.

Furthermore, he talked lightly while discussing local history because of the wide disparities in understanding. He points to some photocopies in a back corner of his cupboard by French military officer Albert le Rouvreur, who was stationed at Chirfa during the colonial era and failed to explain the site’s history. The Sao, who has lived in the area for decades, perhaps built the earliest defences in what is now Kawar. However, when exactly they reached an agreement is unclear. Some of the surviving KSARS have palm roofs, indicating that they were constructed later.

Many raids have rendered the place desolate, with no record.

Inhabiting the area between the 13th and 15th centuries, the Kanuri culture eventually became dominant. In the 18th and 19th centuries, numerous waves of nomadic raids, including the Tuaregs, Arabs, and the Toubou, came close to wiping out their oasis civilisation. When the first Europeans arrived in what is now the early 20th century, it marked the beginning of the end for the KSARS as a method of protection against foreign invaders. In 1923, the French military assumed control of the region.

Even though there is a lot of mixing between Kanuri and Toubou today, the traditional leaders of the region known as the “mai” are all Kanuri. They are the guardians of oral history and authorities on cultural norms. However, there is still much that is unknown, even to the guardians. No one knew, not even their grandfathers. According to Kanuri leader Kiari Kelaoui Abari Chegou, his people didn’t preserve documents. Endangered artifacts, the Fachi Oasis, 300 km south of Djado, is home to a well-known citadel and ancient town whose walls are largely intact. Traditional ceremonies are still carried out in several of the ancient city’s most significant locations.

It should be recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

According to Kiari Sidi Tchagam, a traditional leader in Fachi, the stronghold has been around for at least 200 years. He echoed notions of Turkish influence by claiming that an Arab had come from Turkey and given the locals the idea to build a fort on the site. The ruins are a source of pride, but descendants worry about protecting the salt buildings from rain. Djado has been on UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites since 2006. Tchagam stressed the need to have it recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This fort is a symbol of who they are; it represents their history and culture.


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AN-Toni
AN-Toni
Editor
5 months ago

Sahara Desert houses many historical relics.Travelers visiting Djado have marveled at the “KSARS” for generations.Express your point of view. 

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
Member
5 months ago

The Sahara desert is a treasure tribe of historical relics that are a testament to the rich cultural and historical heritage of the African continent. The rock of art, ancient ruins and structures, burial sites and trade routes found in the Sahara desert are all invaluable to the understanding of ancient African societies and their contributions to the world’s history.

Christiana
Christiana
Member
5 months ago

This historical treasure still remains a misery till this day without any knowledge of who built it. Scientists that are specialized in this field should study it and share the intriguing discoveries.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
Member
5 months ago

Sahara Desert houses many historical relics this is a place of history and past all this treasure are historical heritages of African this historical place need to be advertised to people can know about it

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
Member
5 months ago

This are historical relics that show our culture, there are building which is hard to explain how it was build this is indeed a historical place to visit

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
Member
5 months ago

The Sahara desert is a treasure trove of historical remains that bear witness to Africa’s cultural and historical past This is a location steeped in history and legend, and every piece of treasure here represents an important piece of African legacy.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
Member
5 months ago

Sahara Desert houses many historical relics. This place has been there for a very long time. I believe that all this historic places are for art and other Things. It can also be use for tourism centre

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
Member
5 months ago

Who would have thought that Sahara Desert houses many historical relics like these. This place would have being a good place for tourism and would have generated revenue for the locals.

Last edited 5 months ago by SarahDiv
Abusi
Abusi
Member
5 months ago

The Sahara desert can be said to be a tourist view and attraction. This is as a result of the relics it possesses. It shows in Africa we have a lot of artifacts and relics we should be proud of.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
Member
5 months ago

The Sahara desert is a historical treasure for African and the world at large that alot of people’s want to know about. Scientists that are professional in these field are do a research about how those treasure are built for everyone.

DimOla
DimOla
Member
5 months ago

Africans find it difficult to cherish what they have as cultural heritage and to preserve them. This is the case of Sahara Desert houses with many historical relics. A place that that should be put in shape for tourism. The people in Djado can actually make living from thus if it is made popular tourist destination. However, due to security challenges the place couldn’t be use for such.