Public Sector Reform Unit

Office of the President, 8 Wesley Street, Freetown

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Geography

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Location:

  • Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia

    Geographic coordinates:

  • 8 30 N, 11 30 W

    Map references:

  • Africa

    Area:

  • total: 71,740 sq km
  • country comparison to the world: 119
  • land: 71,620 sq km
  • water: 120 sq km

    Area - comparative:

  • slightly smaller than South Carolina

    Land boundaries:

  • total: 958 km
  • border countries: Guinea 652 km, Liberia 306 km

    Coastline:

  • 402 km

    Maritime claims:

  • territorial sea: 12 nm
  • contiguous zone: 24 nm
  • exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  • continental shelf: 200 nm

    Climate:

  • tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)

    Terrain:

  • coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east

    Elevation extremes:

  • lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
  • highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m

    Natural resources:

  • diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite

    Land use:

  • arable land: 15.33%
  • permanent crops: 1.88%
  • other: 82.79% (2011)

    Irrigated land:

  • 293.6 sq km (2003)

    Total renewable water resources:

  • 160 cu km (2011)

    Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

  • total: 0.21 cu km/yr (52%/26%/22%)
  • per capita: 38.74 cu m/yr (2005)

    Natural hazards:

  • dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February);sandstorms, dust storms

    Environment - current issues:

  • rapid population growth pressuring the environment;overharvesting of timber, expansion of cattle grazing, and slash-and-burn agriculture have resulted in deforestation and soil exhaustion; civil war depleted natural resources; overfishing

    Environment - international agreements:

  • party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

    Geography - note:

  • rainfall along the coast can reach 495 cm (195 inches) a year, making it one of the wettest places along coastal, western Africa