Group tasks FG on speedy cleanup of Ogoniland
Th African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) has urged Federal Government to speed up the cleanup of Ogoniland by implementing the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
It stressed the need to review some of the provisions of the gazette to give the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), which is overseeing the exercise some independence to enable it prosecute its programmes without interference.
Acting Executive Director of the centre, Monday Osasah, stated this in Abuja yesterday at a media briefing on the operationalisation of emergency measures and cleanup of the Niger Delta.He observed that government had, during the flag-off of the exercise, raised expectations of the communities that a year after pronouncing the cleanup exercise, all emergency measures must have been dealt with, but lamented that three years after, nothing has been done.
He noted that the eight emergency measures government ought to put in place before the cleanup include putting signboards in communities where their water is contaminated and ensuring regular water supply.
It should also put a health register in places that have been contaminated, among others, adding that instead of creating the health register, HYPREP only embarked on health outreach.“The delay in the cleanup and the emergency measures are not entirely that of government, previous governments did not consider the UNEP report, but this government took it as one of its responsibilities to oversee the process of the cleanup and this is a clear demonstration of political will.
“HYPREP and the governing council have been set up, the Project Coordinator office has been created and contractors have been deployed to site but they have not done enough.“There is a slow pace of work, we expected the work to be faster than this and so, government should take concrete actions to speed up the cleanup process,” he stated.
Osasah noted that if funds needed for the cleanup exercise are released, the project will gain some speed, adding that there are compensation issues, which the communities brought up, but civil society is persuading them to allow the cleanup exercise to take place
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