By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT—The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, has commenced the actual clean-up of Ogoniland, handing over 16 polluted sites to companies that would clean them up.
Meanwhile, the body has said the clean-up is not a political move by the Federal Government, adding that commencement of the process during the electioneering period was coincidental.
Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, noted that the agency had also commenced bidding for provision of potable water and health facilities in the areas.
Dekil said: “We are pleased to announce to you that 16 contractors have been introduced to 16 sites in the four local government areas of Ogoniland and remediation works have commenced.
“In implementing these reports, delayed by over six years, there was need to develop a new strategy for implementation that we had to classify all recommendations made by UNEP at that time to be urgent, which means we had to proceed with all these activities including water, health and land reme-diation simultaneously.
“By this approach, we have concluded the process for selecting remediation companies now deployed to sites. Activities are ongoing for selecting water companies soon to be deployed to sites and procurement activities for health companies is on.”
He noted that for the remediation to be effective, the agency divided the impacted sites into three, adding that some of the sites would not require use of Integrated Contamina-ted Soil Management Centre, ICSMC.
According to Dekil, “we have adopted an updated site remediation strategy, which divides the sites into three categories: category A, complex; category B, less complex, and category C, sites that require further investigations.
“The work of remediation in less complex sites does not require utilisation of Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre, ICSMC.
“We have commenced feasibility studies for ICSMC and Centre of Excellence and adopting international bidding process to get the best of expertise and technology for the construction of both facilities.”