British deputy high commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Gill Atkinson, has said she is elated at the level of work done so far in the ongoing clean of Ogoni land in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme Report (UNEP) on Ogoni environment.
Gill stated this when she led some officials on a working visit to sites in Ogoni land being remediated by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).
“It is really good to see some strong progress happening here and genuine implementation of the project which has taken time to plan, but as we can see, there is a real productive work going on now. Congratulations to them for work well done,” she said.
She gave assurance of Britain’s support for the project through the Department for International Development (DFID).
The project coordinator of HYPREP, Dr Marvin Barinem Dekil, while briefing the deputy high commissioner on the progress of work, reiterated the commitment of the federal government to implementing the recommendations in UNEP to the letter in the Ogoni clean-up project.
He said HYPREP has carried out several engagements with various stakeholders at the community level to get their buy-in to enable them take ownership of the project. He added that the sensitisation provided a platform for HYPREP to harvest ideas and suggestions from the people which have yielded positive results.
“The project is enjoying full support from traditional rulers, youth groups and women groups in all the communities that the clean-up is currently taking place.”
He explained that the bio-remediation option adopted by HYPREP for the clean-up is a slow process but the most effective. He informed the deputy high commissioner that a total of 21 contractors are currently at different levels of remediation works on 21 lots across the four local government areas of Ogoni land.
A statement by assistant director/head information (HYPREP), Ekaete Umo, said the project has provided huge employment opportunities for youth of Ogoni while business opportunities have also sprung up as a result of the ripple effect of activities in the communities.