FG to commence study on illnesses in Ogoni
Federal Government has embarked on public health studies to ascertain the prevalence of illnesses in Ogoniland as recommended by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, who was represented by the Coordinator of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr. Fedinard Giadom, disclosed this, yesterday, at an event marking World Environment Day in Bori, Khana Council of Rivers State.
Abdullahi said the move was in compliance with UNEP report to carry out a study to decipher the nature and extent of the impact of the contamination of Ogoni communities by hydrocarbons.
He said: “The UNEP report recommended that HYPREP should carry out public health study and should go into public health registries to understand the trend of prevalent diseases in these communities. All over the world, any place there is an oil spill, there are certain debilitating conditions or certain diseases that are associated with chronic, prolonged exposure to this petroleum hydrocarbon concern. And these conditions present themselves in a wide spectrum from low-end impacts to high-end impacts.
“The low-end impacts arise from irritability while the high-end impact will result in things like cancer.
“It is as a result of this that HYRPEP has also moved to begin the process of entering into our communities to interact with the people to take data, and gather information on the kind of disease conditions that are prevalent in our communities so we will find lasting solutions to these.”
According to him, HYPREP intends to build a hospital and upgrade medical centres and hospitals around Ogoni.
He further stated that HYPREP has moved to the next phase of the remediation process of impact areas, which is moving to complex sites, explaining that characterisation of sites has begun.