Ogoni cleanup’s first phase may last for more 22 years, youths warn, deplore slow pace of project
The Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) has warned that the first phase of the Ogoni cleanup, flagged off on June 2, 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari, might last for more 22 years if the rate of work is not accelerated.
The group regretted that United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-brokered remediation was virtually on a standstill, stating that the “seeming lack of capacity in the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), distractions and a vicious cycle of management conflicts from the Ministry of Environment are affecting the cleanup.”
Its Executive Director, Dumnamene Fyneface, recalled that the first five years of the project, were according to the global agency, for the cleaning and removal of black contaminated crude from the soil as well as implementation of emergency measures, while the other 20-25years were for environmental remediation and restoration.
He observed that between June 2, 2016 and now, HYPREP had spent four of the first five years of the project earmarked to cost $1billion.
According to him, of the sum, the agency had reportedly received $360 million from which it said it had expended $44 million during the period.