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S.3 Geography Notes

Benefits of Rivers to the people of Africa

Benefits of Rivers to the people of Africa

  • Generation of hydro-electrical power in the African countries for domestic, industrial and agricultural purposes such as: Kossou hydro power station on Bandama in Cote D’ Ivore. And Kainji dam on River Niger in Nigeria.
  • It has led to the development of the tourism sector. This is because rivers are tourists’ attractions and have facilitated tourism activities like White water rafting at Victoria water falls, spot fishing on River Orange in South Africa.
  • They have promoted water transport hence promoting internal trade among different parts of Africa.
  • Rivers provision of water for irrigation farming for example River Senegal provides water to Sir Richard Toll Rice irrigation Scheme in Senegal and River Nile provides water to Gezira irrigation Scheme in Sudan.
  • Rivers provision of water for domestic and industrial uses in different part of Africa.
  • Rivers acts as internal political administrative boundaries.
  • Rivers are sources of food in form of fish like Tilapia to the people of Africa.
  • Rivers contribute to the modification of the microclimate through rainfall formation.
  • Source of raw materials for art and craft and construction industry, due to the presence of clay soils, sand, and swamp vegetation.
  • Rivers are wild life habitats and centers of biological diversity like crocodiles.
  • Promotion of agricultural activities due to the presence of fertile soils (alluvial soils) along the river banks
  • Study and research purposes


  • Seasonal rivers in Botswana and Namibia hinder water transport during the dry season, and the generation of hydro electric-power.
  • The seasonal flooding of rivers leads to destruction of farmland and transport and communication networks and loss of life.
  • Rivers are habitat for harmful vectors like snails, which spread Bilharzia; Simullium flies which transmit river blindness, breading areas for mosquitoes.
  • Presence of water falls and rapids, narrowness of the African rivers hinders navigation in many African countries.


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