Federal government has put in place strong institutions to ensure complete remediation of contaminated 5,354,766 cubic metre of Ogoniland over an area of about 314 acres.
At a ministerial briefing in Abuja, the minister of state for environment Sharon Ikeazor said the Ogoni clean-up project might last for a decade.
She said the people of Ogoni have been incorporated into the project to ensure its continuity beyond a single administration.
“Total volume of contaminated soil to be remediated is 5,354,766 cubic metres over an area of about 314 acres,” she said.Ikeazor said the Governing Council and Board of Trustees of HYPREP (for the management of Environmental Restoration Fund for Ogoniland) were inaugurated in August 2016 and the Project Coordinator’s office was established in 2017.
“The ministry is accelerating the remediation project, expanding on the livelihood programme of the hydrocarbon impacted communities. Preliminary remediation activities had commenced in early 2018, and work is at various stages of the remediation processes, with successes despite delays encountered.
“The project implementation status is between 2019-2021 and covers three (3) core areas, which are contaminated soil remediation, sustainable livelihood programme and potable water supply.
“In 2019 contracts for 21 lots were awarded for remediation, these covered 12 of the 65 listed sites in the UNEP report. These lots covered an area of 276 acres.
“To date 18 of these lots have been completed and certified by NOSDRA. 3 of the lots are currently undergoing the certification process and one lot is still undergoing remediation. An additional 29 lots were awarded for remediation of 8 sites in February 2020. The area covered is 289 acres. Six of these sites have been completed and certified by NOSDRA while two outstanding sites at Bdere and Ogale are above 60% completion of which we are accelerating.
“As of January 2022 bidding for additional 37 hydrocarbon impacted sites is in progress. Total volume of contaminated soil to be remediated is 5,354,766 cubic meters over an area of about 314 acres,” she said.
The minister noted that the impacts of the remediation effort have produced remarkable employment and livelihood opportunities among Ogoni youths.
She said, “So far, a total of 1,337 persons have been trained, employed, and earned income to support their livelihood, thereby enhancing the local economy.”
Ikeazor said providing alternative livelihood development for Ogoni youths, women and men as well as the physically challenged, was a key activity recommended in the UNEP Report.