Oguta Lake AFR-18

Riparian Nation(s) Nigeria
Surface Area 2 km2 Mean Depth 5.5 m Volume 0.01 km3
Shoreline 10 km Catchment Area Residence Time
Frozen Period None Mixing Type Morphogenesis/Dam
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Oguta Lake is the largest natural lake in Imo State and is supposed to have originated from a natural depression. This region is located within the equatorial rain forest belt with an average annual rainfall of 3,100 mm, but most of the rain forest has been replaced by oil palm plantations especially around the lake.

The lake has a high diversity of phytoplankton community. It contains as many as 258 species of phytoplankton which fall in 107 genera (Omin, 1983). Despite this diversity of phytoplankton, the estimated level of primary productivity of 160 279 mg C m-3 day 1 (Egi, 1983) is generally low. This may be the reason for the low level of fishery production estimated at 12.5 metric tons yr-1 (Ita & Balogun, 1983).

The lake is of immense value to the people of Oguta, Orsu, Nkwesi and Awo. In fact, the lake is the identity and pride of the Ogutaman. They draw their water from it. They ob-tain 80% of their protein from it. It has been observed that a total of 2,403 full-time fishermen and 154 part-time fishermen operate in the lake. The lake serves as a septic pool for domestic urban sewage. The local people also dredge the lake for sand which is used for the construction industry. The Oguta Lake Motel with a tourist resort is a 3-star hotel aimed at attracting tourists to Oguta. In the colonial era, the Oguta Lake was a port for the evacuation of palm products. The relics of the jetties used by the United African Company (U. A. C.) still exist today. During the civil war, the Oguta Lake was a marine base for the Biafran Navy.

Photo of Oguta Lake
Photo: A. Anene