Located in Karaye, Kano State – in the North-Western part of Nigeria, the Challawa Gorge Dam is about 90 km southwest of Kano city and it is under the control of Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority.
The dam was constructed several years after the construction of Tiga dam to enhance the capacity of water supply to Kano. It is a major reservoir on the Challawa River, a tributary of the Kano River, which is the main tributary of the Hadejia River.
The Challawa Gorge reservoir project was started by the Water Resources and Engineering Construction Agency of the Kano State Government, and was later handed over to the federal government who funded the project. The dam is owned and operated by the Hadejia-Jama’are River Basin Development Authority, a Federal agency.
The dam was built by Julius Berger Nigeria in 1990 – 1992 using rock fill construction. It is 42 m high and 7.8 km in length. The dam has a full storage capacity of 904,000,000 m3. The direct catchment area is 3857 km2.
The purpose for the dam include, irrigation, improvement of water supply to Kano city and other towns and settlements along the river system as well as fisheries and livestock development and recreation.
Hydro power potential
The dam was designed with the potential for hydro power generation in mind, and may have a capacity of 3MW on average – more in the rainy season and less in dry season.
However, power would cost considerably more to deliver than current retail prices, and it is not clear how a project to install the generating equipment would be financed.