The ancient oasis town of Chinguetti was founded at its current location in 1262 at a cross-roads for carravans carrying salt. It has had a long struggle against being buried by mobile sand dunes, and sits on the bank of a dry river prone to occasional flooding. The city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, and two years later the European Union worked with the city to remove 1-3 meters of sand from the towns sandy passageways, as the weight was threatening walls and buildings with collapse. Mohaed Amara, the town's mayor, says that the wind is increasing, and now has deposited 45-100cm of sand in the areas from where it was removed in 2002. He noted that his own house at ground level on the "river" side of the town actually has two stories of sand-buried structures beneath it.