Nature and the feeling of zen are sure interlinked. My visit to a fresh water river known as Miniku River, located in Omuihuechi Community (one of the 9 communities) that make up Aluu Clan of Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State Nigeria, is testament to this.
Omuihuechi is a coastal town that is boarded by New Calabar River (a tributary of the Atlantic Ocean) and the Miniku River, which empties into the New Calabar River in the South.
Miniku (traditional name) can be translated as “Big River”. It is a one directional tidal flowing river that is of great cultural value to the people of the Omuihuechi community. It is believed to be of medicinal value, due to the presence of fallen leaves, trees, roots and weeds. Until recently, it served as the only source of water supply for both domestic and industrial use.
The waterbody is of great commercial importance for trade between the Kalabari people of Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru and Degema Local Government Area along strategic points of New Calabar River and Miniku respectively.
Miniku is truly a treasure to the people of the Omuihuechi community. The temperature of the water changes with the climatic conditions of and most children (locals) as young as 7-10 years of age are already great swimmers who enjoy diving into the river. The area also serves as a recreational hub for the students of The University of Port Harcourt, individuals from various parts of Nigeria and for aqua-cultural research. The point where Miniku river empties into the New Calabar River is truly a sight to behold.
This tidal river is testament to how certain pockets of natural heritage integrate themselves into the everyday lives of communities that live around them.