Edmond Sergent (Member of the Institute of the Academy of Medicine and of the Academy of Agriculture, Director of the Pasteur Institute of Algeria) and Etienne Sergent (Chief of Service, Pasteur Institute of Algeria). Histoire d'un Marais Algerien
293 pp. 18 plates, 4 maps and numerous line drawings. Pasteur Institute of Algeria, Algiers 1947
This is an engaging and exhaustive account of observations made over a period of twenty years during which a barren, malaria-producing swamp was converted to a healthful land which “now knows the weight of the plow and nourishes the neighboring communities.” The quotation is from Horace and is one of many classical references occurring in this report.
The Mendil River Swamp, an area of some 890 acres, was situated about three miles southwest of Algiers, between the towns of Birtouta and Boufarik. These names will be familiar to numerous service men who were billeted nearby during World War II. Comprehensive accounts are given of the topography, geology and meteorology of the region and how their influences contributed to the formation of the swamp. The local flora and fauna are described. Brief summaries are given of the cultural history of the area in ancient times and under Moslem and later under French rule.