The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) tasked with the cleanup of Ogoniland, says it has completed the remediation of five impacted sites.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, HYPREP’s Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil, said the project had overcome its teething problems and has fully embarked on the remediation of impacted sites.
Dekil who addressed journalists as part of events marking the 9th anniversary of the submission of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland said, said HYPREP used the first one and a half year to prepare for the task and went into full remediation in January, 2019.
The UNEP report on oil exploration devastation of Ogoniland was submitted to the Federal Government in August, 2011. The report stated that it would take between 25 to 30 years to fully restore the polluted environment of Ogoniland.
It also detailed steps and activities to be undertaken for the remediation of Ogoniland and recommended an initial $1 billion to be provided for the cleanup exercise. The cleanup project was eventually flagged-off in June 2016, with first contract for remediation awarded in January 2019.
Following the awards, Dekil said challenges encountered with mobilisation to site included communal land disputes, compensation issues, court cases and Chieftancy tussles.
He however, listed the five lots where remediation work has been completed to include Obolo Ebubu in Eleme, Bara Akpor Botem in Tai LGA, Deebon Bodo/Mogho in Gokana; Nkeleoken/Alode in Eleme and Korokoro Well 9 in Tai.
He stated further that while work was ongoing on the 21 lots in Phase One Batch One, another set of remediation contracts for Phase One Batch Two, was awarded in February this year, for the clean-up of additional 36 lots. But mobilisation to site was delayed by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.