Indiscriminate dumping of wastes into rivers without control measures is widely practiced in the developing nations of the World as it is observed in River Benue at Makurdi. To ascertain the health status and integrity of River Benue at Makurdi, water samples and sediments were collected monthly from five different locations on the shoreline of the river for a period of two years (July 2011-June 2013). The physico-chemical quality of the water samples were examined using standard methods. The sediments were examined for the presence and absence of macro benthic fauna. The mean values were generally within the WHO and the Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality accepted maximum limit except for colour and turbidity. The result of ANOVA for all the parameters was significant during the seasons (P˂0.05), except for total dissolved solids (TDS), total suspended solids (TSS) and temperature (P˃0.05). Across the locations temperature, bicarbonate, nitrate, sulphate, phosphate and copper were not significant (ANOVA, P˃0.05). The result of the sediments showed that a total of 4,451 macro benthic fauna individuals comprising of 4 phyla and 21 taxa were obtained. Among this benthic fauna group, Athropoda had the highest population of 90.15%, Annelid 4.74%, Mollusca 3.39% and Platyhelminthes 1.7%. A significant relationship at some instances was noticed between benthic fauna group and some environmental variables indicating relationship between benthos and hydrochemistry of River Benue. It is recommended that the discharge of effluents and other waste into the River Benue should be controlled and enforced.
Key words: River Benue, physico-chemical, macro benthic fauna, relationship.