19 Popular Dams In Nigeria And Their Locations

Dams are an essential part of any country as they have very important usage such as a source of hydroelectricity power generation, reservoirs, or for irrigation purposes. The same thing applies to Nigeria and we’ll be discussing the dams in Nigeria and their location, size, and uses.

There are also many Nigerian rivers out of which some are used to get water for dams or reservoirs.

How Does Hydroelectric Power Generate Electricity?

To generate electricity, a hydroelectric power plant makes use of a reservoir or dam to store water, then water from the reservoir is released, flows through turbines and spun which then activates the generator for electricity production.

How Many Dams Are There In Nigeria?

There are more than 20 dams in Nigeria but out of all the dams in the country, there are some that are more well known and is well used, hence, the importance placed on them.

Major Dams In Nigeria

There are three major dams in Nigeria with the biggest and largest dam being Kainji Dam. The largest man-made lake in Nigeria also goes to Kainji dam with 8 dam water turbines installed in it.

Kainji Dam is also the hydroelectric dam in Nigeria that supplies power to major cities in the country.

Earth Dams In Nigeria

What is an Earth Dam? According to Britannica, an Earth Dam is a dam built with successive earth layers in compartment through the use of impervious materials that form the core. Earth Dam is also called Earth filled dam or embarkment dam.

Earth filled dams are composed of earth or rock fill, energy and water. The earth dams in Nigeria are Zobe dam, Bakolori dam.

Most of the dams in Nigeria are man-made, located in the Northern part of the country and are used for the two functions stated above. Here goes the list of dams in Nigeria.

#1 Bakolori Dam, Sokoto River, Sokoto State

Area: North

Surface area hectares: 8,000 hectares

Main usage: Irrigation

#2 Kafin Zaki Dam, Jama’are/Bunga River, Bauchi State

Area: Northeast

Surface area hectares: 120,000 hectares

Main usage: Irrigation for agriculture with possible use for hydroelectric power generation

#3 Gusau Dam, Sokoto River, Zamfara State

Area: Northwest

Surface area hectares: not known

Main usage: Water supply for neighbouring communities and the city.

#4 Challawa Gorge Dam, Challawa River, Kano State

Area: Northwest

Surface area hectares: 3,857

Main usage: Hydropower generation.

#5 Tiga Dam, Hadejia River, Kano State

Area: Northwest

Surface area hectares: 178

Main usage: Hydropower generation.

#6 Kainji Dam, Niger River, Niger State

Area: Central Nigeria

Surface area hectares: 10 kilometres

Main usage: Hydroelectric power generation.

#7 Jebba Dam, Niger River, Niger State

Area: Northwest

Surface area hectares: not known

Main usage: Hydroelectric Power Station.

#8 Ede-Erinle Reservoir, Erinle River, Osun State

Area: Southwest

Surface area hectares: 12 square kilometres

Main usage: Water supply, flood control and fishing.

#9 Asejire Reservoir, Osun River, Oyo State

Area: Southwest

Surface area hectares: 2369

Main usage: Water supply.

#10 Dadin Kowa Dam, Gongola River, Gombe State

Area: Northeast

Surface area: 29,000

Main usage: Water supply for drinking but usage as irrigation and hydropower generation is planned for the future.

#11 Goronyo Dam, Rima River, Sokoto State

Area: North

Surface area: 20,000

Main usage: Irrigation supply.

#12 Ikere Gorge Dam, Ogun River, Oyo State

Area: South West

Surface area: 4,700

Main usage: Planned to be used for generating electricity, water supply and irrigation purposes.

#13 Jibiya Dam, Gada River, Katsina State

Area: North

Surface area: 4,000

Main usage: Irrigation and water supply.

#14 Kiri Dam, Gongola River, Adamawa State

Area: Northeast

Surface area: 11,500

Main usage: Irrigation purpose being used by the sugar cane plantation company called Savannah Sugar Company now owned by Dangote Industries.

#15 Oyan River Dam, Oyan River, Ogun State

Area: Southwest

Surface area: 4,000

Main usage: Water supply to Lagos and Abeokuta.

#16 Shiroro Dam, Kaduna River, Niger State

Area: Northwest

Surface area: 31,200

Main usage: Generation of hydroelectricity.

#17 Obudu Dam, Cross River, Cross River State

Area: Southeast

Surface area: –

Main usage: Irrigation, fishing, tourism and recreation functions.

#18 Zobe Dam, Karaduwa River, Katsina State

Area: North

Surface area: 8,000

Main usage: Irrigation and hydroelectric power generation purpose.

#19 Jabi Dam, River Jabi, Abuja

Area: North

Surface area: 4,000

Main usage: Artificial reservoir for water supply and fishing purposes.

Dams and reservoirs like Kainji Dam, Asejire reservoir and Tiga reservoir created lakes in Nigeria like Kainji Lake, Asejire Lake, Lake Dadin Kowa and Tiga lake respectively.

If you’re wondering what is the difference between a reservoir and a lake, the difference is this “A reservoir is a lake which is created by a dam artificially while a lake is formed naturally without the need for a dam.

From the list of dams in Nigeria above, there are 2 notable dams (Bakolori and Goronyo dams) in Sokoto state, one notable dam (Kafin Zaki) in Bauchi state, one notable dam (Gusau) in Zamfara state, two known dams (Challawa Gorge and Tiga) in Kano state, three notable dams (Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba) in Niger state, two notable reservoirs (Ede-Erinle and Asejire reservoirs) in Osun state, one notable dam (Dadin Kowa) in Gombe state, one notable dam (Ikere Gorge dam) in Oyo state, two notable dams (Jibiya and Zobe dams) in Katsina state, one notable dam (Kiri dam) in Adamawa state, one notable dam (Oyan Dam) in Ogun state and one notable dam (Jabi dam) in Abuja.

There are probably other dams not mentioned in this list but these are the most common and popular dams that are well known.

Do you know other dams not mentioned in this post? Please leave your comment below.

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