By Davies Iheamnachor
Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, and Environmental Rights Action, ERA, have disagreed over the claim of the former that it had successfully completed cleanup work on five out of the 21 polluted sites it started in January, 2019.
HYPREP said it was done with the five sites and waiting for internal and external verification of samples collected from the said sites, as well as the final results from statutory environmental regulatory bodies in the country, but ERA noted that the job done was below standard, noting that in as much as there was no certification from National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency, NOSDRA, on whether the job had been done properly, that no site has been completed.
Project Coordinator, HYPREP, Dr Marvin Dekil, had while marking the 9th anniversary of the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, Report on Ogoniland, said, “In January 2019, contracts for phase 1 batch 1 remediation of polluted sites were awarded, marking the beginning of clean-up of impacted sites as recommended by UNEP.
“As at today, five of the companies have completed remediation work with the rest to round off remediation work in the next one and half months. The five lots where remediation work had been completed are: Deebon Bodo/Mogho in Gokana, Nkeleoken/Alode in Eleme, Korokoro Well in Tai, Obolo Ebubu in Eleme and Bara Akpor Botem in Tai Local Government Areas of Rivers state.”
ERA regretted that HYPREP, and the Federal Government have failed Ogoni people for not being able to make meaningful progress in the remediation of the polluted areas nine years after the UNEP report was submitted.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, Executive Director of ERA, Dr Uyi Ojo, noted that the sites attempted to be cleaned by HYPREP were done below set standards and had no certification from NOSDRA.
Ojo, who was represented by Mike Karikpo, Programme Manager, ERA, challenged HYPREP to show certification from NOSDRA to prove that the said sites have been fully remediated.