Nyala Sudan is a famous city known for its processed foods, leather goods, and textiles.
With over 565,734 population during the 2007 consensus, the city boasts of an economy only a few developing cities in Sudan have. Its 12°2′11″N 24°52′37″E coordinates keep the town in the right spot for trading activities surrounding South Darfur.
Despite the crises Sudan faces, Nyala is a region with a rich history, strong economy, excellent infrastructure, well-educated citizens, and fantastic weather that attracts travelers worldwide.
In the succeeding paragraphs, we’ll take you through a sneak peek at one of the most astonishing historical places in Sudan.
History of Nyala Sudan
Nyala’s rich history involved the vast and ancient Daju Empire, where Nyala served as its capital. The empire flourished between the 12th and 15th centuries before the Tunjur people overthrew it. The empire reached its peak and was primarily held together by its military. Its military strength became a safe and secure haven for merchants, visitors, and people from around Sudan.
As a city, Nyala was founded in Jebel Um-Kurdós, a historical site in Sudan, between the 12th and 15th centuries. With the rise of the Daju Empire in that region, Nyala proved itself fit enough to trade in Sudan during this period.
Today, Nyala shares engraved pictures, ancient antiquities, and poetry of the Daju Empire. Perhaps if critical archaeological sites of the history of Nyala, like Simiat Hills, Dobo, Kedingnyir, and Jebel Keima, were found, the tales would be even more convincing. However, this historical and archaeological evidence proves challenging to find because of the country’s British invasion.
The United Kingdom’s attack in 1898 on Sudan provided hints to the secret of Nyala. Records show that during the invasion, the captured Sultan Adam Suleiman hesitated when interrogated by Herbert Kitchener. Kitchener, a British Army officer who was notorious for his imperial campaigns, was granted Baron of Khartoum’s title. During the interrogation. Kitchener hinted there was more to the value of Nyala than Suleiman would care to admit. The baron initially sought information on portions of Nyala’s landscape for water extraction. It is believed that the British intended to build its Administration Headquarters in Darfur.
Interestingly, the Sultan had plans to make Nyala the perfect city for the British Administration Headquarters.
In its most recent history, the Darfur conflict in 2003 claimed many visitors and citizens in Nyala. The war spread from South Darfur through the towns in Nyala, leaving thousands homeless and hopeless in weeks. The refugee camp near the city gates served as a beacon of hope for these citizens, even to the southern part of Nyala, Karma.
Where Is Nyala?
Nyala is South Darfur Sudan’s capital state with a latitude of 12.057452 and a longitude of 24.892616 if one is inclined to locate it on a map. Nyala is situated at an elevation of 673 meters in the South Darfur region, which strategically positions the city perfect enough to get a view of its enemy coming from miles away.
The higher elevation of Nyala’s soil is considered a substantial tactical advantage even by its enemies. Its elevated landscape people sometimes believe isn’t the reason for Nyala’s success in overseeing the capital issues of South Darfur. It takes more than a land people believe.
It’s difficult to ignore the dynamic atmosphere of Nyala following the number of textiles, leather goods, and processed foods industries. Among the cities located in the southwest of Sudan, Nyala records one of the lowest unemployment numbers. It is one of the most promising Sudanese cities and links the trading community via railway and roads. From any part of the world, you could access the city through its domestic airport.
Visiting Nyala is not difficult once you’re in Sudan. You will discover that most travelers are going to southwest Sudan heading to Nyala. It also serves as a place for vital governmental departments and headquarters, making Nyala a center for agriculture and trade.
At present, Nyala is host to different branches of the Agricultural Bank of Sudan. The banks’ presence in the area is vital for Sudan’s economy. For example, the People’s Cooperative Bank, a popular source of investment capital, is why Sudan’s ambitious people visit Nyala for loan requests. Cooperative banks are known for lending capital to fisherfolks, farmers, artisans, and consumers for years. Nyala was also home to several refugees seeking food and shelter during the violence outbreak in Darfur in 2003.
There’s not much to discuss on the climate of Nyala. Irrespective of the considerable amount of rainfall experienced in this part of South Darfur, the city has a marginal hot desert climate. Köppen climate classification BWh is often referred to as a climate condition below hot semi-desert climate BSh. This is interesting because, for land that experiences such harsh weather conditions for the better part of the year, you’d expect the soil to be dead. But Nyala never ceases to amaze!
Like most Sudan cities, the Nyala weather faces an average of 39.4 to 40.9 degrees Celsius in January and February. It then gets as worse as 45.6 degrees celsius from March, all through May, and sometimes around December. Most times, the climate condition in Nyala never falls below 38.5 to 39.6 yearly. For some reason, rainfall unexpectedly hits the soil of Nyala each year. At the very least, the city receives 16 inches of rain, which is considered fair to water the plant grown in that region. It’s no surprise that farming in Nyala records a reasonable yield yearly, which keeps the economy afloat.
The Economy & Water Infrastructure of Nyala
The city of Nyala’s economy is strengthened by producing leather goods, textiles, and food processing. Even for a significantly developing city, Nyala Sudan keeps its head afloat from these local industries’ taxation. Some experts believe Nyala’s industrial success can is due to its local businesses. From locally-made textiles and leather to food processing and production, merchants across the country conduct trade in Nyala for its quality products.
For a city that depends on local industries, Nyala diversifies its economy through its railway and road terminus systems to keep trade going. Although these transportation modes aren’t the best globally, they are good enough for Nyala. Also, Nyala is the only city that trades Gum Arabic.
However, Nyala is not that perfect. Like most south Darfur cities, Nyala suffers from poor water management and insufficient water infrastructure coupled with droughts. Even when the city has a thriving economy, water infrastructure lacks effective delivery methods. The majority of the water supply merchants, visitors, and residents of Nyala use are groundwater, mostly contaminated.
Nyala’s waste management system is also substandard. The city lacks proper water sanitation that often results in contaminated water. Water tests show Nyala’s water has increasing bacteria levels, way higher than other developing nations. Over the years, Nyala’s health problems were due to increase bacteria from its water supply. If this remains unresolved, it will affect the economic trend.
Education: schools and the future of education
Like a few cities in Sudan, Nyala increasingly sees the value of their children’s education and future. In the last century, Nyala’s residents gave little regard to schooling and focused more on trading. However, between 2000 and 2010, Nyala’s education sector doubled the number of schools on all levels. From 135 primary and 58 secondary schools, it increased to 308 and 106 respectively.
However, Nyalan parents remain concerned about Nyala’s quality of education was not at par with the middle schools in more developed cities. School staffers in Nyala are mostly overworked and underpaid. Worse of all, most teachers weren’t qualified to teach the classes or students at all.
Having underpaid and unqualified teachers roaming the halls of the future of Nyala isn’t a good sight to behold. It seems the Sudanese government is only concerned about the country’s economic status. We’d believe this is the only reason for not committing to the teachers’ welfare, well-being, and financial responsibilities. Irregularities in the funds from the government strip the schools from investing their resources in the kids.
To recap, here’s a summary of what we have discussed on Nyala:
- Nyala’s ancient and magnificent history dates back between the 12th and the 15th century.
- Under the Daju Empire, Nyala became its capital because of its strategic location — it can see its enemies from miles away.
- Tales about Nyalan grandeur were lost, and no archaeological and historical records can validate the grand stories.
- It was attacked by the British and was under its colonial administrative rule for years.
- Present-day Nyala is still a thriving city thanks to its local industries and regular tourist visits.
- While its economy is growing, the education sector suffers despite the government’s efforts to increase the number of schools.
Nyala Sudan doesn’t get many mentions in historical content like Timbuktu and Cairo. Still, it is indeed a force that shaped the course of not only Africa’s history through its commerce, military power, and innovation but that of the world through the lens of the British Empire.