Kainji Dam

Kainji Dam is a dam across the Niger River in western Nigeria. Construction of the dam began in 1964 and was completed in 1968. The total cost was estimated at $209 million, with one-quarter of this amount used to resettle people displaced by the construction of the dam and its reservoir, Kainji Lake. The dam is one of the longest dams in the world.

Kainji Dam extends for about 10 km (about 6 mi), including its saddle dam, which closes off a tributary valley. Most of the structure is made from earth, but the center section, housing the hydroelectric turbines, was built from concrete. This section is 65 m (215 ft) high. The dam was designed to have a generating capacity of 960 Megawatts; however, only 10 of its 12 turbines have been installed, reducing the capacity to 800 Megawatts. The dam generates electricity for all the large cities in Nigeria. Some of the electricity is sold to neighboring Niger. In addition, occasional droughts have made the Niger's water flow unpredictable, diminishing the dam's electrical output. The dam has a single-lock chamber capable of lifting barges 49 m (160 ft). Kainji Lake measures about 135 km (about 84 mi) long and about 30 km (about 19 mi) at its widest point, and supplies a local fishing industry.

In 1999 uncoordinated opening of floodgates led to local flooding. [ http://www.africasia.com/archive/na/99_01/naam0101.htm]


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