• Monday, July 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Ogoni wins 40% of $1bn remediation jobs as FG inaugurates projects in Rivers

The Ogoni Communities in Rivers State have won 40% of all the environmental remediation jobs going on in the $1 billion UNEP- recommended project domiciled in the environmentally-devasted areas in Ogoni.

This was made known by Balarabe Abbas Lawal, Minister of Environment at the flag-off of mangrove areas cleaning being executed by Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) of the Federal Government.

Lawal, who inspected and commissioned four water projects, including Terabor Water project in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, assured the people of Ogoni of his commitment to involving its people from planning to the execution of the project.

This, he said, was a decision which would help the Federal Government and HYPREP execute projects and implement programmes that meet the needs of the people and ensure an effective clean- up exercise that would meet international standards, in line with the recommendations of UNEP.

He specifically said the 40% of the projects would be reserved for the women and youths of Ogoni to ensure inclusion of all in the activities of HYPREP.

The Minister, during a courtesy visit on the Gberemene of Gokana, Festus Babari Bagia-Paago, Gberesaakoo the XIII, solicited the continuous support of the various stakeholders in Ogoni, especially the traditional rulers and chiefs, in the implementation of the Clean-up.

He warned against incessant and unnecessary protests and litigations as well as other negative conducts aimed at disrupting the activities of HYPREP, a move, which he said, would not benefit the generality of Ogoni people.

Lawal said the visit which was his first since his assumption of Office as the Federal Minister for Environment was the beginning of more good things to come.

He said he would directly be involved in the planning and monitoring process to ensure that Ogoni people, whom he admitted, had suffered tremendously due to the damage caused by oil exploration, deserved a better living condition.

He said this issue tops the agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

The Minister said that Federal Government and HYPREP would not stop at the provision of portable water, but would continue to provide medical and healthcare services, trainings and skill acquisition, and all other forms of empowerment recommended in the UNEP Report.

Nenibarini Zabbey, Professor and Project Coordinator, said that one of the cardinal mandates of HYPREP, is the provisions of portable water to the people.

Zabbey stated that the Terabor Water Project in Gokana has a tank capacity of 900,000 litres and a reticulation distance of 80 kilometers across seven communities in Gokana, namely, Bera, Nweol, Mogho,Kpor, Lewe,Gbe and Giokoo.

The facility in Korokoro Tai holds 500,000 litres, with reticulation distance of 23 Kilometers expected to feed Ueken community, while the Ebubu Eleme facility will house 650,000 litres of water with a reticulation distance of 31 kilometers.

The Kpean facility in Khana will accommodate 500,000 and distribute to a distance of up to 31 kilometers.

On sustainability plans for the project, the Project Coordinator said the water scheme would be run by HYPREP for three years, in collaboration with the communities, Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development, NGO’s and the various Local Government Councils.