Claim: A Facebook user claimed that a picture showing the meeting point of two differently coloured rivers is of Rivers Niger and Benue in Nigeria.
Verdict: FALSE. The picture shows the Rhone and Arve Rivers in Geneva, Switzerland. It is not that of Rivers Niger and Benue in Nigeria.
One of the two prominent Nigerian rivers that symbolise the country’s identity is River Niger. According to the Nigerian Inland Waterway Authority, the Rivers Niger and Benue constitute the major channels for inland waterway navigation to different rivers, lagoons and lakes, linking 28 of Nigeria’s 36 states and five neighbouring countries by water.
A Facebook user, Igala Kingdom, shared a picture of two rivers’ confluence on Oct. 17, 2023, and said it is the picture of River Niger and Benue in Lokoja, Nigeria. The caption reads, “River Niger and River Benue joining point, Lokoja, Nigeria.”
As of the time this report is filed, the post has gained 14,000 reactions, more than 2,600 comments, and 804 reshares.
Another user, Kutika TV Africa, posted an explainer video on Sept. 24, 2021, describing the picture as “God’s wonderful creation.” The post also had 207 reactions, 52 comments and more than 6,400 views.
The image’s novelty made DUBAWA conduct a fact-check to verify the claim.
When DUBAWA used Google Lens, a digital image verification tool, to find clues about the real location of the confluence of rivers alleged to be the River Niger and Benue, the results pointed to a different place – the confluence of the Rhone (Rhône) and Arve rivers in Geneva, Switzerland, the second largest city in Switzerland.
The contrasting colours of the two rivers
These two rivers have distinct colours. The Rhone River’s water (left) originates from the Aar-Gotthard slopes and forms the turquoise Lake Geneva. In contrast, the River Arve (right), sourced in the Graian Alps, is more typically grey and muddy due to its rapid flow, which stirs up the bottom with rocks, mud, and dirt, resulting in these gloomy shades.
The source of the alleged image
The image in question was initially captured on April 7, 2012, and later posted on Flickr by a user named Sarag693 on August 7, 2013. The original description of the image stated that the location of the two rivers was the confluence of the Rhone and Arve rivers in Geneva, Switzerland, and not the River Niger and Benue in Nigeria (see details below).
The confluence of the Rhone and Arve rivers in Geneva, Switzerland, has been a research subject for several years. Various reports discussing the uniqueness of these rivers and the reasons behind their distinctive features can be found in ResearchGate, an academic journal.
Numerous images captured from different angles are also available for reference, as shown below.
In contrast, there is no difference between the colours of River Niger and Benue.
Meeting point of River Niger and Benue. Source: News.Band
The confluence in the picture is that of the Rhone and Arve rivers in Geneva, not Rivers Niger and Benue. Therefore, this claim is false.