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The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is located in West Africa and is bordered by Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali and Senegal. It has coastal Atlantic Ocean to the west. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the coast. The name comes from the ancient Berber kingdom of Mauretania.

Mauritania, with its 1,030,700 km ² with 29 largest country in the world. Mostly barren plains of the Sahara, some hills in central areas. Lowest point is Sebkha the Ndrhamcha of -3 m and the highest point is Kedi Ijill at 910 meters Mauritania is a dry country with large amounts of desert and mountain areas receive. Two-thirds of the country covered by the Sahara desert, where it hardly ever rains and only scattered shrubs can survive. This area is very sparsely populated, and experience extreme temperature fluctuations, from 0 degrees at midnight, and up to 50 degrees during the day. Further south of the country is desert and Sahel Senegal River, which is slightly more fertile than the vast deserts of the north. Along the coasts the climate is more temperate, but even here there is very little rainfall, and sparsely populated.

Mauritania's biggest environmental problem since droughts in the 1960s - and '70s been desertification, which increasingly fertile ground covered by barren sand plains. Failure to control the logging of the sparse woods leads to depleted soils, and soil blowing away. The country also struggling with a lack of access to clean water, both because of declining rainfall and due to lack of sewage and industrial emissions.

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