One of the planets in my science-fantasy series is small (around the size of Earth's moon). The gravity implications of this are the one part of this the magical origins of my universe are able to hand-wave away so for the sake of this question, let's just assume it has Earthlike gravity. Anyway, this planet is divided into four main geographic zones:
Around the south pole is a gigantic patchwork of marshes and swamps called The Saltu (similar to the Everglades) where all the excess water ends up due to the planet's lack of actual oceans.
North of this is a band of thick, flat jungle cut through by several large river valleys (think Amazon basin) that flow down into The Saltu. This area is mostly referred to as the Atoyatl Basin (since the Atoyatl River is the largest of these rivers and is basically thought of as this planet's equivalent to the Amazon).
North of these jungles, straddling the planet's equator, is where pretty much all the planet's tectonic activity happens. In the eastern hemisphere, the planet's two tectonic plates (remember, it's a very small world) are rifting apart in a similar fashion to what we see in Iceland, and it is in this rift valley that there is a massive freshwater alpine lake called Lake Coxcote (around the size of all of the American Great Lakes combined and around as deep as Lake Baikal). This lake is surrounded by a myriad of landforms creating by this process, ranging from faults to canyons to mountains to volcanoes. This entire area sits on a plateau similar to the Mexican Plateau. The equatorial region of the western hemisphere is where these two plates meet and subduct underneath each other, creating an absolute ton of volcanoes and mountains. As the equatorial regions of both the western and eastern hemispheres are both elevated and mountainous (the west more so than the east though), these areas are referred to as the Equatorial Ranges.
To the north of these areas is a vast desert called Mictlan. Mictlan is the only region known in the entire galaxy where water simply does not exist in liquid form (it only exists in trace amounts in the air that make it over the Equatorial Ranges from the south, and this is never enough to produce rain or even dew). Life does not exist here for obvious reasons, and the land here looks more like the surface of Mars than Earth.
The only parts of this planet that are inhabited are the areas around Lake Coxcote, some of the lower slopes of the Equatorial Ranges, and the northern third or so of the Atoyatl Valley. The rest is completely empty of sentient life (Mictlan has no life at all).
Is this a realistic habitation pattern for a planet with this bizarre geography, and could a planet with this bizarre geography even exist at all?