The Barrage was built during the British Raj from 1923 to 1932 and named Lloyd Barrage. It was constructed under the overall direction of Sir Charlton Harrison, CIE. On its completion it was opened by the Viceroy of India, Lord Willingdon. The scheme had been launched by the Governor of Bombay, Sir George Ambrose Lloyd (later known as Lord Lloyd) and it was named in his honour.
Sukkur Barrage is used to control water flow in the River Indus for the purposes of irrigation and flood control. The barrage enables water to flow through what was originally a network of canals 6,166 miles (9,923 km) long, feeding the largest irrigation system in the world, with more than 5 million acres (20,000 km²) of irrigated land. The retaining wall has 66 spans each 60 feet (18 m) wide. Each span has a gate weighing 50 tons.