Taming of the Niger

 WATCHING a powerful, agrarian adolescent galloping chargeless as the breeze is an alarming sight. So aswell is a able river a affair of beauty. But just as a agrarian adolescent is of bound account to man, so too is an beastly river.



Thus, in 1964 Nigeria set out on a adventurous arrangement to acclimatized the Niger, the third better river on the African continent. The Niger flows through 5 countries in West Africa. Starting in Guinea, it apprehension through Mali and the Niger Republic, forth the arctic bound of Dahomey, and flows hundreds of afar down through Nigeria afore elimination into the Atlantic Ocean.



The arch aim was to accouter the rivers abeyant electrical power, back additional sources such as beef and agent plants could not accumulate up with Nigerias growing demands for power. Therefore, afterwards abundant investigation, it was absitively to assemble a dam at Kainji Island on the Niger about 630 afar upstream from the Atlantic coast. On February 20, 1964, the plan arrangement was awarded to Impregilo, an Italian architecture firm. They accustomed at the website in Advance 1964, and plan started immediately.



Many wondered if the civilian war, which started in Nigeria on July 6, 1967, would affect the construction. But back the activity was able-bodied beneath way by that time, and all the plan was out of the war area, architecture connected according to schedule.



The amount for this activity was estimated at $221,200,000. Who would pay this big bill? Nigeria was in position to pay added than one-third of the cost. The Apple Coffer agreed to accommodate about an according amount, and Italy, Britain, the Affiliated States and the Netherlands agreed to accounts the rest. So, the activity absolutely angry out to be an all-embracing one. Canada provided abstruse assistance. And accouterment and architecture abstracts came from Sweden, Austria, Norway, Britain and Italy.



Construction



In time, the force alive at the dam numbered 5,700. A affected was accustomed nine afar from the architecture website and grew to a citizenry of 20,000, a approved city! It was able-bodied able with schools, shops, recreational facilities, artery lighting, baptize accumulation and carrion disposal, as able-bodied as a hospital.



The arch area of the dam is the accurate structure. It is 1,800 anxiety continued and 215 anxiety top aloft the foundation, about the acme of a twenty-story building! Included in this area is the spillway, which has four huge fifty-foot by fifty-foot hydraulically operated gates. These are acclimated to absolution balance baptize and to adapt the after breeze of the river.



At the abject of the dam, on the after side, is the ability plant. Twelve assimilation tunnels approach baptize from the backlog to this plant. Actuality the baptize turns huge turbines that anniversary accomplish 110,000 horsepower. The electrical achievement is fed via aerial curve to the switchyard anchored a abbreviate ambit after from the dam. From there it is beatific on its adventure to amuse Nigerias charge for electrical power.



On anniversary ancillary of the 1,800-foot-long accurate dam are huge rock- and earth-fill dams. The one to the appropriate is 8,000 anxiety long, and a agnate one to the larboard coffer is 4,000 anxiety long. These complete the capital area of the dam. However, above the left-bank area is a low saddle dam that has a absolute breadth of 2-3/4 miles.



For the capital dam, including the spillway, 800,000 cubic yards of adhesive were used. The ability bulb appropriate addition 175,000 cubic yards. And the ample dams acclimated 9,000,000 cubic yards of material. If this were advance out over an breadth of one aboveboard mile, it would create a bank of apple about nine anxiety high!



The first electrical ability was accustomed from the dam on December 22, 1968, and the fourth agent was installed at the end of February 1969. So, beneath than 5 years afterwards the architecture started, the dam was clearly opened on February 15, 1969. In time a absolute of twelve turbines will be installed here, and the ability produced will added than according the bulk produced in Nigeria afore the dams construction!



Other Benefits



The 480-square-mile basin created by the dam guarantees a acceptable accumulation of baptize for irrigation. Also, acreage downstream, aforetime abortive because of flooding, will now be reclaimed for agriculture. Addition accessible account is a fishing industry that is hoped eventually to autumn about 10,000 bags of angle annually.



Kainji Dam, too, will be a benefaction to the shipment industry. A bypass aqueduct with two locks has been congenital to admittance shipment aloft the dam. And, too, the dam allows for acclimation and convalescent the breeze in the river downstream, appropriately extending appreciably the shipment season. This should create it accessible for the assorted articles from arctic Nigeria added calmly to ability the ocean and be alien to apple markets.



There is aswell the anticipation that tourism will be addition account of the lake. Civil lakes are few in Africa, and in an breadth so far abroad from the ocean and ample bodies of water, the basin will absolutely be an attraction.



Future Projects



As the appeal for electricity increases, two approaching projects accept been planned, which will be chip with Kainji Dam.



First is a dam to be amid abreast Jebba, about sixty afar beneath Kainji Dam. Its hydroelectric accommodation will be a little added than bisected that of the afresh opened project. The basin it will aftermath will extend all the way aback to Kainji Dam.



Then there are affairs for a dam at Shiroro Gorge on the Kaduna River, upstream from area the Kaduna meets the Niger. It will aftermath about the aforementioned electrical achievement as the proposed Jebba Dam. Already these dams are completed, an ingenious, chip arrangement is planned that will aftermath a large, year-round accumulation of electricity.



Such projects should be a benefaction to Nigerias economy.



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