400 indigenous workers deployed as Bodo cleanup begins
Over 400 indigenous workers have been deployed on site, as Shell begins the cleanup of Bodo community.
An Ambassador from the kingdom of Netherlands, Robert Pedri, disclosed this at the weekend at Bodo, in Gokana Local Council Area of Rivers States.
He expressed appreciation that the cleanup had started, despite the delay that it recorded as a result of disagreements between the parties involved.
Pedri explained that the polluted areas would take time to be cleaned, due to the degree of damage in the environment and urged the people to be patient to ensure a smooth exercise.
He said: “The actual cleanup in Bodo community started three weeks ago, even though there was a delay after the memorandum of understanding was signed.”
He called for a mutual understanding between the community, Shell and other relevant agencies to ensure a speedy execution of the project.
The Bodo cleanup is different from the general Ogoni cleanup, which is being handled by the Federal Government.
The community had experienced two major oil spills in 2008 from the facilities belonging to Shell Development Petroleum Development (SPDC).
He explained that the cleanup and remediation process resumed after an ambassador from the Netherlands visited the site and intervened in the disagreement.
The paramount ruler of Bodo, Sunday Bebor Berebon, urged Shell to ensure that the cleanup was done in accordance with international best practice.
“The SPDC should ensure that Bodo community is fully cleaned up, remediated and restored so that the people could return to their source of livelihood,” he said.
He appealed to the indigenous workers to utilise the opportunity to earn some wages, warning that there was no free money to share.
Also, SPDC General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli, said the exercise was for the good of all, as the firm was committed to the success of the project.
The Zonal Director, Port Harcourt, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, (NOSDRA), Cyrus Nkangwung, restated that the cleanup would restore the people’s source of livelihood.
The Chairperson, Bodo Mediation Initiative, Inemo Samiama, said the contractors were mobilised to site in September.
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