Port Harcourt — The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, on Tuesday, opened bid for the provision of potable water to impacted communities in Ogoniland, in line with the recommendations of United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP.
Provision of potable water to communities affected by pollution and whose underground source of water was impacted, was a key recommendation in the UNEP Report.
Speaking to newsmen at the bid opening in Port Harcourt, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil, described the event as significant in the roles of HYPREP which include the provision of water, as recommended by UNEP.
Dekil announced that the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, and the governing council of HYPREP thought it wise to provide water beyond the contaminated communities in Ogoniland.
He added that HYPREP was getting all the recommendations of UNEP done simultaneously, as remediation was currently ongoing in 57 sites, livelihoods training will soon be launched and now modalities for the provision of water was underway.
“Today we are opening bids for six lots, so we will have six competent companies across various locations in the four LGAs of Ogoniland, to provide water and in the next three to five weeks, we must have secured the contractors and they will be immediately mobilised to sites.
“Our mandate in HYPREP is to remediate impacted sites in Ogoni. Recommendations for the provision of water is for few communities, but the Minister of Environment thought it wise that we should provide water beyond the impacted communities, and that is what we have started today.
“The water we are going to provide in Ogoni will meet the United Nations and WHO standard.
“The particular communities which UNEP identified for water are Ogale, Kpean, Nsisioken, Korokoro, K-Dere and B-Dere, etc. These six lots are the first phase for the provision of water, there will be subsequent phases coming up for many other communities as we progressed.”
The HYPREP boss explained that the bidding process is transparent and in line with the guidelines in the Procurement Act, adding that the provision of water in Ogoni would be in collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources.
He also maintained that precautionary measures against COVID19 was been maintained both by HYPREP and contractors handling the sites.
“What we are doing here follows due scientific procedures and processes, so we are not just expected to drill borehole, we are taking our time to study the terrain, the geology of these communities, the contaminant and also look at the best way to treat the water that is coming there, reticulation is considered and planned.
“We are going to drill to an extent that whatever we bring out will be further subjected to treatment that it will meet WHO standard. We are going to have a central borehole from which water will be reticulated to the impacted communities and many other communities that our budget can carry.
“Over 40 companies are currently participating in the bidding for water provision,” the HYPREP boss said.