|Time zone||UTC+1 (WAT)|
|Maximum capacity||800 MW|
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. The dam which took almost five years to construct was built by a consortium of three Italian firms namely Impresit, Girola and Lodigiam. It took 20,000 men of nine different nationalities to construct it.
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 8 of its 12 turbines have been installed, reducing the capacity to 760 Megawatts. The dam generates electricity for all the large cities in Nigeria. Some of the electricity is sold to the neighboring country of 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).
On 7 October, following heavy rainfall, there was a build-up of excessive upstream water from the neighboring Niger Republic that was threatening to overwhelm the dam. The dam authorities decided the only way of reducing the pressure on the dam was to open its gates to shed the excess water. A torrent of water gushed forth bursting the river banks. The ensuing deluge swamped virtually all nearby villages. The warning had been there since July when the villagers began to experience occasional flooding. But no one attached much significance to it, because the floods were mild and relatively harmless. The villagers did not know that worse days were ahead. None of them could have imagined the scale of the calamity that was to come. The flood tore down everything in its path and submerged about 60 villages, washing away scores of age-old mud houses . In the ensuing melee, many local residents were injured as they fled for their lives. Although no casualty was recorded, many domestic animals were lost in the deluge, while several farms were washed away. Villages affected included Patigi, Tada, Bacita, Shonga, Gbaragodi, Belle, Yelwa, Kusegi. Fanagu and several others, many of which are now under water. In Tada village, a 3,200-hectare rice plantation belonging to the Lower Niger River Basin and Rural Development Authority (NRBRDA) was destroyed as a dyke recently erected to protect the farm from flood was washed away.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010. In Adankolo New Layout in Lokoja local government of Kogi state, residents were searching for personal effects that had been submerged in flood water allegedly released from Kainji Dam. Adam Sule, narrating his ordeal, said most of the things he spent years putting together, including the savings of his long suffering wife, a petty trader, had gone with the flood. Apart from the horrible terrain, riddled with gullies, constant flooding,
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 of about 60 villages.