The Kainji Lake which is situated in Nigeria serves as a reservoir of sorts that is fed by kainji dam on the popular Niger River.
Kainji Dam which was built from 1964 – 1968 with a capacity of 12 turbines producing a total of 960 megawatts generates power for most towns in Nigeria.
The dam stretches to about 10 kilometres. Most parts of the structure was made from earth excluding the 65 metres high concrete centre section that houses the hydroelectric turbines. Kanji Dam is one of the longest dams in the world.
The dam which took almost five years to construct was built at the cost of N175 million by Impregilo, a consortium of three Italian firms. It took 20,000 men of nine different nationalities to construct it.
Kainji Lake was created in 1968 and is shared by two states, Niger and Kebbi in Northern Nigeria. The lake is flanked and supported by the Kainji Lake National Park, Nigeria’s oldest national park established in 1976.
The Lake separates the two sectors that the Kainji Lake National Park comprises of which are the Borgu Game Reserve and Zugurma Game Reserve. Both reserves bustle with wildlife including baboons, duikers, hippopotamuses, hyenas, kobs, roans, and warthogs; are amongst the key tourist sites in the country.
The vegetation of the park is mainly of the Guinean forest-savannah kind in some parts and Sahelian in others.
The water from the lake is supplied by the flow from the upper Niger River which basically comes from the Futa Djarlon Island through Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone and Senegal.
Kainji Lake has a total capacity of 15 billion cubic meters covering an area of 1270 square kilometres.
Kainji Lake is about 135 kilometres long and 30 kilometres with the maximum head elevation at 141.7 meters and maximum tail elevation is 104m at its widest point. It is also a fisher man’s haven. Whether for subsistence or artisanal fishing it supports the local fishing industry and feeds the irrigation channels around it.