Says ‘Clean-up may take up to 30 years’
By Soni Daniel
Abuja—Following last week’s launch of the clean-up exercise of Ogoniland in Rivers State by the Federal Government, the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, has said that it will take between 25 to 30 years for the natives of the degraded land to enjoy a fresh and clean environment.
UNEP also said that due to the extent of contamination in Ogoniland and nearby areas coupled with the varying degrees of degradation, it will require a combination of techniques to clean the oil-impacted areas.
According to the body, the approaches to be adopted in the exercise will range from active intervention for cleaning the top soil and replanting mangrove to passive monitoring of natural regeneration for the clean-up.
According to a comprehensive report carried out by UNEP on Ogoniland with recommendations on how to execute the crucial assignment, “The hydraulic connection between contaminated land and creeks has important implications for the sequence of remediation to be carried out. Until the land-based contamination has been dealt with, it will be futile to begin a clean-up of the creeks.
“Due to the wide extent of contamination in Ogoniland and nearby areas, and the varying degrees of degradation, there will not be one single clean-up technique appropriate for the entire area.
“A combination of approaches will therefore, need to be considered, ranging from active intervention for cleaning the top soil and replanting mangrove to passive monitoring of natural regeneration.”