The Oguta Lake is a lean ‘finger lake’, the largest natural lake in Imo State, Southeastern Nigeria; within the equatorial rainforest region of Niger Delta. Oguta Lake is the largest natural lake in South-Eastern Nigeria. It is located in a natural depression within the extended east bank floodplain of the River Niger downstream of Onitsha.

The lake is in the Oguta Local Government Area in the western part of Imo State in Nigeria, which has a population of 22,298 people.  It is within the Rain Forest though the original forests around the lake have since been replaced by oil palm groves. The town of Oguta is situated on the east bank of the lake.

A source of livelihood

The lake is of immense importance to the people of Oguta, Orsu, Nkwesi and Awo. It is the source of municipal and domestic water, while some community members worship a deity associated with it. In addition, it sustains tourism and fishery business, and it is the channel for urban sewage for the community. With the lake being the identity and pride of the Ogutaman. They draw their water and obtain 80% of their protein from it.

Oguta Lake receives recurrent inflow from Rivers Utu, Awbuna and Njaba, which have their source in the Awka-Orlu slope in North Central of Imo State. It also receives the overflow from the river Niger. It drains into the River Orashi, a focal river on the eastern bank water meadow of the river Niger, which carries river Niger’s floodwaters directly to the Niger delta.

Oguta Lake has a maximum depth of 8.0 m and a mean depth of 5.5 m, Water level varies over a range of 2.7m between the two seasons that occur in this part of the world and there are 40 fish species in the lake.

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