The Project Co-ordinator of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr. Marvin Dekil who spoke during an interactive session with members of says the Press, stated that Ogoni people are receptive and supportive of the clean-up project. He stated this to clear the air on the impression that the Ogoni people do not want the clean-up.
The Project Co-ordinator who highlighted the activities of HYPREP from inception, also focused on the achievements and progress so far made, as well as the current status of the project.
Debunking allegations from some quarters that HYPREP clean-up programme was at variance with the recommendations in the United Nations Environment Programme Report, ( UNEP) the Project Co-ordinator said HYPREP had not in any way deviated from the recommendations of UNEP in its operations.
He said the Federal Government had re-engaged UNEP to work with HYPREP in the field and in the office, to provide technical support and build capacity of staff on the project. This, he said, was a demonstration of the commitment of the Federal Government to the clean-up of Ogoni, in strict compliance with the recommendations of UNEP.
Explaining further, Dekil stated, that the UNEP Technical Team during its one-week assessment visit to HYPREP office, studied the activities of the Project since its inception and confirmed that the implementation process was in line with the recommendations in the UNEP Report. He however added that to successfully implement the UNEP Report submitted eight years ago, HYPREP had to prioritize some of the activities that were not considered emergency at the time the report was submitted without deviating from the recommendations.
Dr. Dekil said one of the first activities HYPREP embarked on, was to carry out a mapping of the existing water facilities in the entire Ogoniland, because the UNEP Report identified water as one of the critical things that needed to be provided for the population.
He also recalled that HYPREP had carried out two medical outreaches across the four Local Government Areas of Eleme, Tai, Khana and Gokana where over 20,000 patients were treated and over 400 surgeries carried out. The medical outreach he said, served as an intervention as well as provided a platform for gathering the initial data for the health impact study recommended by UNEP. This, Dekil said, was contrary to some speculations that HYPREP had not implemented the emergency measures.
He reaffirmed the commitment of HYPREP to developing the capacity of local contractors to empower them to participate in the project moving forward.
Dr. Dekil urged people to be receptive and supportive of government programmes and projects that are aimed at impacting positively on their lives. He assured Nigerians that HYPREP procurement activities are carried out in line with Federal Government guidelines and procedures.
Assistant Director/Head Information
For: The Project Coordinator