Ogoni communities urge FG to expedite action on cleanup
…want payment to HYPREP halted over failure to implement UNEP report
Some oil-bearing communities in Ogoniland under the aegis of Ogoni Liberation Initiative (OLI) have urged Federal Government to partner international agencies towards expediting cleanup of Ogoniland in line with recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report.
The group also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to halt further payment to the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), alleging that the agency has not utilised the monies released for the cleanup.
President of the group, Douglas Fabeke, stated this during a town hall meeting in Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoni, yesterday.
The group said: “Ever since the establishment of HYPRPEP, there is no single UNEP Report Recommendation that has been effectively implemented. All the impacted sites are still as they were, no provision of potable drinking water after decades of pollution of Ogoni source of drinking water, no central office of HYPREP in Ogoni land to enable the people to have access and be abreast with the activities and programmes of HYPREP, contracts are awarded to companies and individuals as political patronage, to clean up the Ogoni environment, no establishment of centre of excellence, neither is there any general registry of the Ogoni people to ascertain their health conditions as recommended by UNEP.”
The group regretted that the Ministry of Environment expected to take action against HYPREP has remained silent on the matter, despite visits to Ogoniland.
In its 11-point resolution, the group advocated a clear master plan of environmental restoration and management in Ogoni, considering that all host communities are plagued with environmental degradation and pollution.
Some of the resolutions read: “There should be established in all the six kingdoms of Ogoni, a clean drinkable water with water treatment plants of international standard as recommended by UNEP Report.
“There should be a reintegration of Ogoni refugees in Benin Republic and other countries in the world into the society through building of houses for them, empowerment and good welfare packages.”