7 Major Rivers In Nigeria You Should Know
It is believed that rivers are to the land what the veins are to the human body. And just like the veins, the importance of rivers cannot be overemphasized.
Rivers are natures gift to man. And just like every other gift given by nature, the usefulness of rivers cannot be exaggerated.
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Unarguably, it can be said that rivers are the cornerstones of every economy; they are indispensable to transportation, agriculture, tourism and sources of natural minerals.
Nigeria is blessed with several natural flowing water courses. In this post, NIGERIAN NEWS samples some of the major rivers in the country.
1. Niger River:
The Niger River is known as the principal river of West Africa. It extends about 4,180 km. The source of the river is in the Guinea Highlands in South-Eastern Guinea. It runs in a crescent through Mali, Niger, on the border with Benin and then through Nigeria, discharging through a massive delta, known as the Niger Delta or the Oil Rivers, into the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Niger is said to be the third-longest river in Africa, exceeded only by the Nile and the Congo River (also known as the Zaïre River). The main tributary of River Niger is the Benue River.
2. Benue River:
The Benue River was formerly known as the Chadda River or Tchadda.. It is the major tributary of the Niger River. The river is approximately 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) long and is almost entirely navigable during the summer months. As a result, it is an important transportation route in the regions through which it flows.
3. Osun River:
The Oṣun River flows southwards through central Yorubaland in South West into the Lagos Lagoon and the Atlantic Gulf of Guinea.
The origin of the river is traced to the mythology where a popular goddess, Osun turned into a river after a traumatic event. She was one of the wives of Sango.
There’s usually an annual traditional worship in August at the Osun Shrine which is near the river at Osogbo. It is a popular pilgrimage and important tourist attraction.
4. Ogunpa River:
The Ogunpa River is a third-order stream with a channel length of 21.5 kilometres and a drainage basin covering 73.3 square kilometres which drains the densely populated eastern part of Ibadan, Nigeria. The river is known for its 49 species of zooplankton.
It would be recalled that the flood of 1980 gave the river national and international notoriety. After about 10 hours of heavy rain, the city surrounding the river was virtually left in ruins. There were over 100 bodies were retrieved from the debris of collapsed houses and vehicles washed away by the deluge.
5. Ogun River:
The Ogun River discharges into the Lagos Lagoon, the origin of the river can be traced to Oyo State near Shaki.
The river is crossed by the Ikere Gorge Dam in the Iseyin local government area of Oyo State. The river flows through the Old Oyo National Park and provides recreational facilities for tourists.
The chief tributary of the Ogun River is the Ofiki River which also originates from Shaki. Also, the Oyan River is another tributary of the Ogun River; it is crossed by the Oyan River Dam which supplies water to Abeokuta and Lagos.
6. Erinle River:
This is another popular river in Osun State called the Erinle River, it is the right tributary of the Osun River that enters from the north near Ede just below the Ede Dam.
Based on Yoruba tradition, Erinle was a great hunter who became a God. He was said to have conducted the first Olobu of Ilobu to the site of the town of Ilobu. Also, he protected the people of the town from Fulani invasions. He is also described as a herbalist or a farmer.
7. Oba River:
The Oba River is located both in Oyo and Osun state. It is the main tributary of the Osun River. The river is named after the goddess Oba, one of the wives of Sango, the Yoruba God of Thunder.
It is said that the river is heavily polluted. According to Yoruba mythology, one of the other wives of Sango tricked the Oba into cutting off her ear and adding it to Sango’s food, saying it would please him. When Sango discovered what Oba had done, he was infuriated which led to a frightened Oba turning into a river along with Osun.
According to the story, this explains why the meeting point of the rivers Osun and Oba is so rushing.
The river rises about 15 kilometres north of Ogbomosho in Oyo State and flows past Ogbomosho, where it is dammed. The Oba continues south from the dam until it joins the Oshun River just above the settlement of Odo Oba.