10 690 km2



2 Million



Annual rainfall decreases roughly from South to North, with insignificant geographical differences in variability. Temperatures on the other hand increase with distance from the Atlantic coast. Seasonal Northeast trade winds, known as Harmattan, also have an associative relationship with atmospheric circulations, and are notable for their chill factor, and significant amounts of dust picked up from the margins of the Sahara desert. The climate is largely semi-arid with one wet season followed by a seven month dry season. The rainy season commences from June and continues to October. Average daily temperatures are 28° C in the dry season and 28° C in the rainy season.

Natural Resources:

Key sectors of the economy include: Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Energy and Tourism together contributing 34% to the country’s GDP. Within agriculture, peanut production accounts for 6.9% of GDP, other crops 8.3%, livestock 5.3%, fishing 1.8%, and forestry 0.5%. Industry accounts for approximately 8% of GDP and services approximately 58%. The limited amount of manufacturing is primarily agricultural-based.


The main cash crop of The Gambia is groundnuts.  The country is primarily an agricultural country with 80 percent of the population of 1.5 million depending on agriculture for its food and cash income. Cash crops such as cotton and groundnuts are grown in the up-land areas and rice in lowland, riverine areas (rain-fed swamps or under irrigation) for both subsistence and cash. Other principal subsistence cereal crops grown are maize, sorghum and millet. More than one-third of The Gambia's arable land is devoted to millet, and another third to groundnuts. Sorghum, maize and rice (dry land, irrigated and swamp) account for large arable land coverage. 

Climate Vulnerabilities:

From experience and an observational record that spans over a century in some places indicate climate hazards in the Gambia include: torrential rainfall, storms, drought, cold spells, intra-seasonal-drought, heat waves, and unseasonal rains. The coastline of the Gambia is a low-lying and makes it more vulnerable to increase in sea level rise. It is projected that about 92 km square of land in the coastal zone will be flooded and covered by the sea as  result of only a 1 meter rise in present sea level. Coastal Wetlands are at risk of being gradually inundated resulting in the loss of mangrove and salt marsh vegetation. It is projected that the one meter rise in sea level will result in flooding of the capital city of Banjul.



Harmattan: is a dry and dusty West African trade wind. It blows south from the Sahara into the gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March (winter). The temperatures can be as low as 3 degrees Celsius. The name is related to an Akan cognate.  On its passage over the desert it picks up fine dust particles.

Sahara desert: is the world's largest hot desert and third largest desert, after Antarctica and the Arctic. It covers over 9.4 million square kilometres (3,6million sq miles). The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean. To the south, it is delimited by the Sahel region.