Posted by Isiaka Wakili | 11 September 2017 | 1,771 times
The Federal Government says the activities of illegal and artisanal oil refiners are threatening the $1 billion Ogoni cleanup project in Rivers State.
Addressing State House reporters at the weekend, the Coordinator for the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Marvin Dekilby said that, if not stopped, such activities could cause re-contamination after the ongoing remediation.
Dekilby stated that the HYPREP had begun to engage with the artisanal oil refiners with a view to checkmating their activities.
He said: “We’re also in the process of engaging with the ex-artisanal refiners. This is another key aspect of our activities. It's important that the artisanal refining activities in the area are stopped because it’s a source of worry in sense of, this is source of possible recontamination after cleanup.
“It’ll make no sense if we were to spend this amount of money, one billion dollars, to remediate sites only to have these places polluted again. So, we needed to engage with the artisanal refiners. The Minister of State for Environment, three weeks ago, on the invitation of HYPREP, came to Port Harcourt and met with a cross section of these people. They agreed to key into the project and to stop all such illegal activities. They also added that they’d like an alternative training for themselves.”
He said work had commenced on the cleanup exercise as eight remediation active sites carrying out demonstration projects across four local government areas of Ogoniland had so far been successfully created.
Dekilby said the HYPREP had trained young Ogoni scientists with a background in environmental science in order to manage the demonstration sites in the area. (Daily Trust)
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