On the outskirts of Ado-Ekiti, a lake settles like a sleepy crab and its face shimmers like a wet mirror, manifesting a picturesque image of the sky. It lies calm and still, except for the gentle ripples that rock its form intermittently. Into its face, the sky looks and its clear reflection it sees, painted in turquoise tones in different places. Masking its farthest banks are arrays of giant reeds, jutting out from the lake waters and swaying gently to the rhythm of the whistling wind; and behind them, a dense wall of forest thickets rises above, casting a sheet of mild shades on the far lake banks. A string of massive quartzite ridges sits at the skyline, cloaked by the blue colouration of an endless firmament. This runny mirror at our foreground is none but the peaceful waters of Ureje Lake- the delight Ado’s fishermen.
The picturesque lake was formed when River Ureje was dammed in the years 1959-1960 before it was commissioned in 1961 . It was initially constructed for the purpose of meeting the domestic needs of Ado Ekiti and its environs, and a treatment plant was put in place so that the water can be adequately purified before it is distributed to the public.
According to a tour guide at the dam, “local fishermen often come here to catch fishes for commercial purpose. They pay a certain amount of money every month/year to the corporation which in-turn grant them operational licences to use the lake. The fishes grow naturally and are not fed by anyone. The most common fishes found in the lake are Tilapia, Tiger fish and catfish species”.
Other wildlife found in the lake and its enclosing forest include crocodiles (which are believed to have gone extinct as there have not been any recent sightings), turtles, duikers and grass cutters.
It is worthy of note that the Ekiti State Government had been showing keen interest in developing the tourist potentials of the State; we, therefore hope that Ureje Lake will be added to their list of proposed sites for investment. Ureje Lake is a giant loaf of potential yet to tapped, lurking away in a corner of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Directions to Ureje Lake:
Akure » Ikere-Ekiti » Ado Ekiti (Ekiti State Water Corporation)
Lagos » Ibadan » Ilesha » Igbara-Oke » Ado-Ekiti (Ekiti State Water Corporation)
Abuja » Lokoja » Kabba » Omuo-Ekiti » Ado-Ekiti (Ekiti State Water Corporation)
This article was written by Folarin Kolawole
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