African History

History Of Kainji Dam – Largest Dam In Nigeria

History Of Kainji Dam - Largest Dam In NigeriaKainji Dam (image credit:google.com)

Eight out of twelve turbines are currently in use in the Kainji hydroelectric dam with generating capacity of 960 megawatts which is equivalent to 1,290,000 horsepower.

A dam is an artificial structure constructed across a river to either control the water flow, produce hydroelectric power supply, regulate flooding or so.

Kainji Dam was built by an Italian Construction Company called Impregilo, and was designed by the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO), Joint Consultants, and Balfour Beatty.

The project kicked off in 1964 and completed in 1968 while the dam was commissioned in 1969.

Kainji hydroelectric dam was built across the Niger River, Niger State.
It took an estimated amount of $209 million to complete a project that covered 6.2 miles which is about 10 kilometers.

The dam’s out-stream to Niger is 550 meters (1800 feet) which enabled irrigation and fishing. It supplies power based on the amount of water that passes through the dam down a river while the falling water spins the magnets over metal coils which are the turbines thus generating power.



In October 1998, water-rise was experienced in Kainji Dam and water was unlocked, over 55 villages were flooded – their farm products were washed away, animals were drowned.

Over 42000 people were said to be displaced after the dam was erected, continual flooding within Kainji made some animals to extinct while their fertile land became a history.

Before the building of the dam, the area was a small settlement.
The Gungawa people were the dwellers of the Islands in Niger River in Yauri Emirate, after the completion of the dam in 1968, the government-funded and resettled them.
The dwellers of the Island of Niger River in Yauri Emirate were moved to the Eastern bank of the river while those that settled at the Niger River in Borgu Emirate relocated towards the Western bank of the river.


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Buchi Prinzy Henry
A lazy writer, and a freelancer. An African who believes in reviving back the African history and tradition back to our memories. Mental emancipation is my mission. I write on History Category at 54history.com

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