New Erinle Dam, Nigeria


We motivated the earth-moving and concreting production teams, developed a rock blasting technique for the safe stage completion of the new Erinle Dam on the Oshogbo – Ede water expansion scheme.

The new Erinle Dam is owned and operated by the Osun State Water Corporation in Nigeria and impounds a reservoir that extends for 7 miles and has a storage capacity of 94,000,000m³. The dam is 1100ft above sea level, has a crest length of 700m, a maximum height of 27m and a spillway discharge of 800m³/sec. The dam formed part of the overall Oshogbo Ede Water Expansion Scheme and was behind schedule during construction and was at risk of being severely damaged during the forthcoming rainy season.

With preparatory works still ongoing in the river bed, the challenge was to complete the embankment to a safe height and finish the spillway to divert impounded river water through the diversion tunnel. This all had to achieved within 6 months.

With the works breaking down into two key activities – an earthmoving operation to construct the embankment, and a concreting operation to complete the spillway, we mobilised and motivated each production team with an incentive bonus – which unwittingly set them in competition as each team wished to out-perform the other.

Whilst the main spillway channel had been blasted out of the rock, the underfloor drainage had not been started. With side wall construction having commenced we devised an explosive technique and arranged a special dispensation to blast the drains close to the completed structural works.

The dam was duly completed to the required safe height, gates were installed and overflow spillway completed, all in readiness for the initial impounding of the reservoir and safety of the project site.

“Richard has the rare ability to successfully combine attention to detail in contract planning and administration with the energy and drive necessary to progress construction works to be a versatile and highly competent construction professional”

Graeme Barwell, Construction Director, Costain (West Africa)


Posted on

1st May 1987