Approximately 400 years ago, they were two hunters called Ekwna Chita and Uta Anoo who went out to hunt for bush meat. After some time they became thirsty and they began to search for water. Fortunately for them, they found one. A mysterious thing happened, after drink the water, they discovered that the water could not quench their thirst.
They thought it was ordinary water. Immediately they made their findings public and that was how The Lake (Okposi Salt Lake) that supplies the brine was discovered. Before the dawn of industrialized method of salt production in Nigeria, the traditional methods of salt production were already in practice since the discovery of Okposi and Uburu salt lake in Ebonyi State – about 400 years ago.
The salt production can only be processed by women via a rigorous process. This Salt made Okposi and Uburu famous in the pre-colonial era. Uburu and Okposi salt attracted people from all parts of Eastern and some parts of Northern Nigeria to one of the most famous markets at that time called Odenigbo Okposi market. During the Biafran/Nigerian civil war (on 6 Jul 1967 – 15 Jan 1970) the Okposi and Uburu salt were used.
The brine from Okposi Salt Lakes had the highest salinity among all lakes in Eastern Nigeria according to the Biafran scientists, after series of tests. They built an industry close to the lake and taught the local women new production techniques, including the use of “alom” to effect sedimentation of dirt before decantation and final filtration. Though the industry is dilapidated, it still stands as a monument till date.
The Uburu and Okposi salt lakes are in Uburu and Okposi respectively; Uburu lake is the larger of the two. I believe by now you should know where Ebonyi State got its slogan “THE SALT OF THE NATION“
Location: Ohaozara Local Government
Getting Here: The Uburu and Okposi salt lakes are both in Ohaozara Local Government Area. It takes 1hr 30mins minutes to drive from Abakaliki (Ebonyi State Capital) to Okposi (Ohaozara Local Government Area)