By Udeme Akpan
THERE are indications that the cleanup of Ogoniland will start in December this year as many companies have started to demonstrate their competencies to get involved in the project.
Investigation by Vanguard showed that many companies have already gone to the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), to demonstrate their technologies, with the hope of being engaged for the scheme.
A source in the organisation, who preferred not to be named because he was not permitted to speak, said: “Many companies have already been here to demonstrate their technologies.
“We are optimistic that the cleanup could start in selected sites December, this year. “
In a message posted at its website, HYPREP added: “Demonstration of remediation technologies are on top gear by various companies.
“The exercise is expected to be concluded soon thereafter interested companies will be invited for expression of interest for the procurement of remediation projects which will lead to the commencement of the full implementation of the UNEP Report on the Cleanup project.”
It added: “Recently, the Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil was at the United Nations to draw up a road map for a holistic remediation of the Ogoni environment. The Project Coordination Office has begun the process of selecting the best hands for the execution of the emergency measures as recommended in the UNEP report on Ogoniland Cleanup.
“This will be followed by the training of women and youths in various livelihood skills, the programme of which is currently being developed by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in conjunction with HYPREP Coordination Office.
“The next phase of sensitization is community engagement at the grassroots level in all the impacted communities having carried out initial sensitization of the community leaders in the four (4) LGAs. Public enlightenment campaigns and information dissemination through the news print and social media will also be intensified.”
Earlier, Minister of Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, had disclosed at a Pre-contract Award meeting organised by HYPREP that the Federal Government had concluded all processes outlined in the agreement, while funds for the project had been provided.
He had said: “The stage we are in now is the procurement process. We have 183 companies that are pre-qualified and have been asked to submit their documents to bid for contract.
“All bids are supposed to end on September 24 followed by financial evaluation. There is a timeline for each process. We have matching orders that by the end of October, people should be seen on the field.”