By Davies Iheamnachor
THE Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, has dismissed rumours that the people of Ogoni have rejected the ongoing cleanup project in their devastated environment.
Project Coordinator, HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil, disclosed this in Port Harcourt yesterday, in a statement by the Head, Information, Ekaete Umo.
Dekil noted that Ogoni people are receptive and supportive of the clean-up project, adding that the project meets the need of the area.
Dekil also denied allegations that the clean-up programme was at variance with the recommendations in the UNEP report, stressing that HYPREP had not in any way deviated from the recommendations of UNEP in its operations.
He disclosed that the Federal Government had re-engaged UNEP to work with HYPREP in the field and in the office, to provide technical support and build capacity of staff on the project, noting that it was a demonstration of the commitment of FG to the cleanup of Ogoni in strict compliance with the recommendations of UNEP.
Dekil said: “UNEP Technical Team during its one-week assessment visit to HYPREP office studied the activities of project since its inception and confirmed that the implementation process was in line with the recommendations in the UNEP Report.
“To successfully implement the UNEP report submitted eight years ago, HYPREP had to prioritize some of the activities that were not considered emergency at the time the report was submitted without deviating from the recommendations.”
Dekil, however, revealed that HYPREP had adopted a thorough process that will enable the provision of sustainable potable water in Ogoniland, confirming that the process for the implementation of the water project had reached an advanced stage.
Dekil also denied insinuations that members of the impacted communities were excluded from the project.
He said the project had carried out series of engagements with the various groups and segments within and outside the communities.
Dekil urged Ogoni people to remain receptive and supportive of government programmes and projects that are aimed at impacting positively on their lives.