06 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – An environmental pressure group, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth International, ERA/FoEI, has trained youths in Ogoniland on skills to monitor and assess the forthcoming clean-up process of oil polluted-sites in the area.
The youths numbering over 50, drawn from the four local government areas that makes up Ogoniland – Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme – have been given skills needed to detect when a site is properly remediated and restored to normalcy.
Speaking at the end of the two-day training for the youths christened ‘Toxic Brigade for the Monitoring of the Clean-up of Ogoniland and the Niger Delta’, the programme manager of ERA, Mr. Mike Karikpor, said monitoring of the clean-up exercise was imperative in a bid to rule out a substandard job.
Karikpor explained that the personnel trained would collect samples from remediated site and forward to a laboratory for examination.
According to him: “We are preparing to monitor the clean-up. It is the first clean-up in the Niger Delta and it has to be successful, this means that the communities need to be actively involved.
“The samples they (toxic brigade) will get would be taken to a laboratory for examination and verification.
“They would be mindful of the ethics and integrity and will do the work with all honesty,” he said.
The Executive Director, Lokiaka Community Development Centre, Ms. Martha Agbani, explained that it would be inappropriate for an all-important job as the remediation process of Ogoniland to be carried out without effective monitoring.
She added that the trained youths would also serve as watchdogs to the the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, during the clean-up process.