Lokoja, Nigeria

Lokoja is the capital of Kogi State. Due to its central situation, the city has become a hub for the migration from the insecure North to the South. The original location of the city is at the confluence of 2 big rivers: Niger and Benue, that pass through the city. Lokoja is divided in neighborhoods and surrounded by hills and mountains, being the most significant Mount Patty (750m). The climate is tropical with a rainy and a dry season.

Shocks and stresses
The city’s main shocks and stresses are floods, rain and wind storms, gully erosion, and extremely high temperature (38-40oC). There are also traffic congestion. In 2012, flooding caused 6 death and more than 2000 displaced. Transportation was disrupted as highways were affected, causing the interruption of supplies and circulation of people and goods between Lokoja and the capital Abuja (main way to travel to the North in the country) for 3 weeks. Insecurity issues in the north of the country have a significant incidence in the high increase of population that almost doubled. Displaced stopped in Lokoja, inducing uncontrolled development.

Capacity of action 
Training on management and response to disaster. Adaptation of WHO tools on flood assessment, and a community based Early Warning System (control of water level). Building of Housing estates for the worst affected victims from 2012. Creation of climate change department and shoreline protection project.


  • Power supply is erratic.
  • Water supply is above average but inadequate.
  • Transport services in the city: Frequent use of small taxis and motorcycles for commercial use creating congestion and serious pollution issues.
  • The road network is inadequate and roads are in bad shapes.
  • Critical areas needing fly overs have none.
  • Petty trade problems due to high unemployment rate.

Built environment
The city buildings are mostly single houses or bungalows with one or two floors built as solid structures of cement bricks. There is no densification.

Shoreline protection program.
Lokoja City structure plan.
Lokoja urban road development program. Solid waste management program. Youth and women empowerment program. Systematic land titling and registration: planning is needed to avoid slum areas.

Challenges of the city 

  • Inadequate road network.
  • Inadequate water and power supply. Poor sanitation (uncontrolled dumping).
  • Poor drainage systems.
  • Uncontrolled housing development.
  • Lack of finance and inadequate manpower.
  • Rise in water level due to climate change.