Within the last nine months, the Project Coordination Office (PCO) of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has recorded some remarkable achievements. In a statement, the team gave a breakdown of its activities.
We have trained some graduates from Ogoni who studied Environmental Sciences. The training was to build their capacity for the remediation work.
Provision of Potable Water
On assumption of office in March 2017, the PCO, under the leadership of the Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil set up a Committee to identify existing water facilities in Ogoni, whether functional or non-functional with the aim of revamping and enlarging them to meet the water needs of the people. Based on the Committee’s report, the PCO advertised four (4) activities; vis rehabilitation of existing water facilities, construction of new water facilities in areas polluted but without source of potable water. The procurement process is ongoing.
Preliminary Data Collection towards implementation of UNEP Recommendation on Health Impact Study
In Line with the UNEP recommendation on the Health Impact Study, HYPREP carried out a Medical Outreach programme aimed at collecting preliminary data towards implementing the recommendation.
The Project Coordination Office on 26th December, 2017 officially flagged off the Ogoni Health Outreach programme in Bori, Khana LGA. The outreach lasted till 3rd January, 2018. Several ailments ranging from minor sicknesses to major surgeries, were treated in the course of the preliminary data collection.
The expectations from the communities and their response to the programme was very high and encouraging. In all, a total number of 5,815 patients were attended to and 65 surgical cases treated.
We did not limit our sensitization to the mass media. We have gone to the impacted communities and carried out initial sensitization of the Ogoni leaders, women and youths representatives. So far, we have visited Bodo, K-Dere, B-Dere, Kpor, Ogale, Ebubu, Korokoro, Ueken, Kpean and Buan and other communities where about 3,500 people have been sensitized.
Demonstration of Remediation Technologies: The Project Coordination Office (PCO) embarked on demonstration of technologies in some of the oil impacted areas in Ogoniland. This was in compliance with the UNEP recommendations on the type of remediation technologies that isn’t suitable in Ogoniland. HYPREP invited companies to showcase their new remediation technologies which was at no cost to Government or HYPREP. During the process, HYPREP carried out sampling activities at some selected polluted sites across the four (4) LGAs of Ogoniland listed below, for the demonstration of remediation technologies by interested companies:
i. Khana – Kwawa Community
ii. Gokana – Bodo, K-Dere and B-Dere Communities
iii. Tai – Korokoro Community
iv. Eleme – Ogale Community
Seven (7) companies have completed their demonstration works on sizeable delineated work areas at five (5) sites, three (3) have recently been deployed while more are scheduled for mobilization to other allocated sites. A total of 201 samples (163 soil and 38 water) have been collected and analysed from eleven (11) sites in this exercise across the four (4) L.G.As
Soil and water samples were collected and analysed using different technology to determine the most suitable technologies that will be applied in the Cleanup exercise.
The reason for carrying out the demonstration of remediation technologies is to find the most suitable technology for the Ogoni environment as recommended in the UNEP report and competence of the companies. HYPREP will not approve the use of Remediation Enhanced Natural Attenuation (RENA) which will cause harm to the environment.
Other Activities carried out
The Project Coordination Office had received some international institutions within this period that have pledged their support to the success of the project. Foreign Government Development Agencies such as DFiD, EU Delagation to Nigeria/ECOWAS, USTDA, the United Nations System (UNEP, UNOPS, UNITAR) are in collaboration with HYPREP to develop and implement a comprehensive remediation of the environment and restoration of livelihood strategy in Ogoniland.
To contain re-pollution is pivotal to the success of the Ogoni Clean-up project and that necessitated our meetings with ex-artisanal refiners to educate them on the dangers of their activities to health, the environment and the economy. The ex-refiners are to come up with areas they would be trained to acquire alternative skills so that they do not continue with illegal refining.