By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HAR-COURT— The Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Project, HYPREP, yesterday, disclosed that it has engaged illegal oil refiners in Ogoni communities of Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme Local Government Areas of Rivers State in the clean-up process.
Project Coordinator, HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil, made the disclosure in Port Harcourt, while giving an account of the activities of the team within 100 days in office.
Dekil noted that artisanal refiners in the area have been engaged in the clean up so that they will not continue to impact on the area while the cleanup is going on.
He noted that when HYPREP met the illegal refiners that they (illegal refiners) promised to discontinue their activities that are harmful to the environment.
He said that several of the youths, who illegally refined oil have been engaged and retrained by the body to ensure that they were useful in the clean-up process.
“We met with the leadership of Ogoni ex-artisanal refiners. We had enlightened them about the project and they promised not to be involved in such activities again having received our message that the trade is harmful to their heath, the society and the environment. We gave them the task of the identifying the skill they would want us to train them on as an alternative source of livelihood for them.”