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    Ouled Djellal:
    My Town
El Malha: A small lake in the desert

1- Introduction.

It is fantastic to discover such extraordinary spots that bring much joy and keep you convinced that natural beauty has no nationality. We hear people speaking and watch TV reports about historical and natural sites. We certainly learn a lot but it is more interesting and challenging to discover it and be in close contact.

Ouled-Djellal, a small town which hides one of the best natural places that can exist in the Sahara: it is EL MALHA (equivalent : THE SALTY). But what is it? Where is it? Let's discover it together through this humble article.

2- Location.

In the east of Ouled-Djellal, some 7km far from it, we find EL MALHA, a small and charming pond. It is surrounded by hundreds of palm-trees and reeds which give the scene a unique panorama. Long ago, old farmers discovered the pond and planted palm-trees there. They named it EL MALHA .

3- How it was formed

This spot does not appear to have any water coming into it. It is actually fed by underground springs or streams. But no one could bring the evidence why its water is salty.

4- EL MALHA habitat.

EL MALHA has created a little world of its own. Water plants live under the surface. Some of the plants are attached to the bottom, and others float free. This vegetation provides food for water creatures such as water insects, snails, turtles, and fish. It is also a habitat for waterfowl such as ducks, geese, cranes, and others. Land animals use it for drinking water. They also obtain food from the spot.

5- Recreation.

A few people of Ouled-Djellal use ELMALHA for a variety of recreational activities. They flock to it to enjoy fishing, swimming, and picnicking. The strangest is that the overwhelming majority of the population doesn't know ELMALHA.

6- Is EL MALHA really in danger?

Modern life with its savage extension is inevitably affecting the spot and its population. The inhabitants have never harmed this charming area; most of them ignore how valuable it is. But with the realization of the draining system of waste waters and products, El Malha found itself face to face to a real danger: disappearance. Will anyone be able to preserve it? HOW and WHEN?

Written by Habba Mohamed.

January, 2005.







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