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Train artisanal refiners in Ogoni to avoid re-pollution, group tells HYPREP

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The Youths and Environment Advocacy Centre (YEAC) has charged the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to train artisanal refiners in Ogoni and its environs on modular refineries to provide alternative employment opportunities and prevent re-pollution of the environment.

It gave the charge in Ogoni during a training programme for youths and artisanal refiners on guidelines for the establishment of modular refineries for alternative means of livelihood.

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Executive Director of the centre and an environmental justice activist, Fynface Dumnamene, said with modular refineries, the minds of the youths would be disabused from pipeline vandalism, oil theft and restiveness.

He, therefore, urged HYPREP to use part of the $10m budgeted in United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report provided by Joint Venture (JV) partners and train artisanal refiners in Ogoni and the Niger Delta region on modular refineries.

“We also ask the Federal Government to keep faith with youths involved in artisanal refining in the Niger Delta by ensuring the realisation of its policy on modular refineries in the region.

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“This training is also aimed at achieving environmental sustainability where the livelihoods of fishermen and farmers will thrive again in Ogoni by exposing artisanal refiners in Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme councils, as well as those in Bolo, Ogu, Andoni and Oyigbo.

“This will provide alternative means of livelihoods with focus on modular refineries being what the Federal Government has proposed to address environmental pollution, oil theft and youth unemployment, among others in the Niger Delta region,” he said.

While commending the Rivers State Government for indicating interest to provide alternative livelihoods for artisanal refiners through modular refineries, Dumnamene urged the government to publish its roadmap and policy document on it plans to actualise the programme.

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