Port Harcourt — The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, has cautioned youths of Ogoni against acts capable of re-polluting Ogoniland, such as illegal bunkering and refining of petroleum products.
HYPREP Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil, gave the caution on the occasion of the 2020 Ogoni Day organised by the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Dekil, who called on the leadership of MOSOP to warn Ogoni youth, said it would be regrettable if Ogoniland was re-polluted by illegal refiners, after so much resources had been invested in remediation.
He called for the cooperation and understanding of Ogoni people to enable the Project deliver on its mandate and urging the people to limit their expectation of HYPREP to only those deliverables that are contained in the UNEP Report.
According to him, “Another area that we expect you to assist us to deliver on our mandate is the issue of re-pollution.
“Our effort to clean Ogoniland will amount to nothing if after investing so much resources and time to remediate the land it is again re-polluted by the activities of illegal bunkering and refining.
“As leadership of MOSOP and that of the local communities, you have got to dissuade the youths from these very poisonous activities to health, environment and the economy, so that whence Ogoniland is cleaned it will remain clean for us and future generations.”
The HYPREP boss reaffirmed that every recommendations of UNEP on Ogoniland was now an emergency, assuring that everything will happen simultaneously with the clean-up process.
He appealed that HYPREP should be spared land and chieftaincy disputes in Ogoniland, regretting that the tussle over land and chieftaincy stool has been a major cause of delay in the implementation of the UNEP report at many polluted sites.
“We assure you that this year will see an increase in our activities because for us everything that is recommended in the UNEP is now an emergency and we must deliver on them and also to the specified standards.
“We encourage Ogoni contractors and business men to participate in the bidding process for whatever services we advertise for to enhance your chances of qualifying for contract awards.
“Once again on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mamood Mohammad Abubakar, the Governing Council, Board of Trustees, Management and Staff of HYPREP, I congratulate you on the twenty eighth edition of the Ogoni Day Celebration,” he said.