‘Why Ogoni cleanup is not in 2017 budget’
The Project Coordinator of Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), Dr. Marvin Dekil has explained why Ogoni cleanup was not included in the 2017 budget.
Dekil, who spoke in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the policy of Polluter Pay Principle made it impossible for the National Assembly to include it.
He said HYPREP and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have drawn up a road map for the holistic remediation of the environment, which is expected to gulp $200 million this year.
He explained that $200 million would be required for the project this year, while the remaining $800 million for the next four years, would be provided by the international oil companies, in partnership with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to him, the activities surrounding the clean up might gulp more than the initial proposed $1 billion for the next five years. Dekil stressed that the representatives of HYPREP and UNEP met at the weekend in Geneva, Switzerland to work out the remediation plans for the cleanup.
He said the Federal Government’s commitment to the implementation of the UNEP report has already been received from a four-man committee that was raised to identity and evaluate existing water facilities in Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme local council areas.
“The report was done in line with the recommendation of UNEP, which stated that before any cleanup of the oil impacted environment could be done, potable water must be provided for the people.
He stressed that their sources of drinking water is contaminated 900 times above what the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers as pollution. Dekil further explained that the report, which was submitted in 2011, was still valid, but would be reviewed by HYPREP.
He said there have been some changes in the nature and characteristics of the impacted sites that were studied in the report. Also, there have been other impacted sites that were not captured on the UNEP report, adding that HYPREP has collected an accurate and up-to-date data on the sites.
He said the data, which include soil, water surface and underground were at various demonstration sites at Kwawa, K-Dere, Korokoro and Ogale communities.
Dekil said HYPREP has also opened up different sites, at no cost, for the demonstration of remediation opportunities by companies who volunteered to test them technologies.
To have an accurate and up to date data on these sites, he said HYPREP has collected new samples (soil, water surface and underground) at various demonstration sites at Kwawa, K-Dere, Korokoro and Ogale communities. “The report is valid, we are doing an update of the baseline that was obtained at that time. A site that was accessed in 2011, this is 2017, if we wanted to remediate that site today, we will do scooping. It is an exercise that would allow us to capture the contamination profile as at now. And that is what we will use to design the remediation plan” he said. Dekil said HYPREP has opened up different sites for the demonstration of remediation technologies by companies who volunteered to test their technologies. According to him, the demonstration of technologies by these companies are being done without any cost on the federal government and HYPREP and it is not a guarantee of contact for them. He further stated that HYPREP has in collaboration with Shell trained fifteen Ogoni who studied environmental sciences to be technical assistants in the remediation
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