The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallou has called on the people of Ogoni to support the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP as it puts structures in place preparatory to the final take off of the clean-up of oil polluted Ogoni land.
Kallou made the call at an oil impacted site at Kwawa in Khana Local Government Area where he led a delegation of the United Nations to monitor the training of Technical Assistants by HYPREP.
He commended the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil on his meticulous approach to the clean-up of Ogoni land and urged the locals to exercise some more patience for the project to commence properly.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria assured Ogonis that the clean-up project is on course but that the technical aspect needs to be diligently taken care of for the physical clean up to take place and promised the world body’s commitment to the success of the project.
Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil told the UN Resident Coordinator that so far HYPREP has set up a committee to assess existing water facilities in Ogoni land in line with the recommendation of the UNEP report that potable water be provided for Ogonis since their sources of water have been polluted by oil spills.
He stated that the Committee has turned in its report and HYPREP is talking with water consultants on how to effectively and satisfactorily provide pipe borne water in Communities of Ogoni.
Dr. Dekil further stated that HYPREP is in touch with Johns Hopkins University in the United States, the University of Port Harcourt and other consultants to launch a health impact assessment study of Ogoni land with the aim of providing a comprehensive medical care for the people.
He explained that for a successful clean up to take place there was need to stop re-pollution of remediated sites which is why he had an interactive forum with Ex-Refiners to put an end to their illegal oil refining activities so that as the project starts there wouldn’t be any draw back on it.
The HYPREP Coordinator also informed Mr. Kallou that HYPREP in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research UNITAR is training Ogoni women whose sources of livelihood have been impacted by oil pollution to acquire alternative skills to sustain themselves and their families.
Highpoints of the visit were a courtesy call on the Kwawa council of chiefs and a demonstration by the newly trained Technical Assistants for the remediation programme.