Ogoni Clean-Up: Norwegian Ambassador commends HYPREP on work done

Ogoni Clean-Up: Norwegian Ambassador commends HYPREP on work done

The Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Jens-Petter Kjemprud, says he is happy to see that the on-going remediation of hydrocarbon impacted sites in Ogoniland is progressing significantly.

Ambassador Kjemprud made the remark, when he visited some sites in Alode in Eleme Local Government Area of Ogoni where the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) is currently carrying out remediation works.

The ambassador who said it was encouraging to see that the project is progressing, urged the Management of HYPREP to fully deliver on the expectations of the Ogoni people and indeed other stakeholders who are interested in seeing that the clean-up is completed within the stipulated time frame.

Kjemprud says he expects HYPREP to speed up the completion of the Phase 1 Batch 1 of the remediation project so that the people can reclaim their land and return to their means of livelihood. According to him, “the people will be happier when they return to their land.”

While assuring HYPREP of Norway’s support for the clean-up project, he charged the project to ensure strict monitoring of contractors to ensure they conform to job specifications in line with international best practice.

Kjemprud, therefore called for the continuous support from the people of Ogoniland for the project to succeed and demanded for a stop to artisanal refinery in the land as such activities will make the ongoing clean-up futile.

While commending the Ambassador on the visit, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Barinem Dekil, assured that the project is working according to best international practices in the clean-up of impacted communities in Ogoniland, noting that HYPREP is setting new remediation standards and redefining the ways remediation is done in Nigeria.

Dr. Dekil, hinted that Nigerians will be proud of the project upon its completion. In his words, “this is more because the on-going remediation work across the impacted communities is constantly being quality checked by HYPREP, UNEP and the IOCs.”

The Project Coordinator disclosed that works at most of the remediation sites in Ogoniland have reached appreciable stages of completion. He stated that 80% of the companies have achieved the first 30% milestone, noting that some contractors are on the next milestone and would have reached the 70% milestone within the year. Dr. Dekil said he expects most of the 21 contractors would complete their contract within the year.

While recognizing the urgent need for water, Dr. Dekil reassured the people of Ogoniland that arrangements have advanced towards the provision of potable water for impacted communities, noting that HYPREP is embarking on a comprehensive review of the water project to make it sustainable.

“Such reviews are in terms of mapping, strength of flow and the state of the water facilities”, he said.

He revealed that HYPREP is at the point of inviting contractors for the water project which will be in phases. According to him, “Beyond the provision of water, is the effort to make it sustainable. We want to solve the water problem adequately; we don’t want to complicate things.”

He expressed confidence that the livelihood programme of HYPREP which is designed to help provide alternative means of livelihood would help address the issue of artisanal refining in Ogoniland, while appealing to the people to desist from impacting negatively on the health, environment and economy through their illegal activities and called for continuous synergy among relevant stakeholders to address the situation.

The Ambassador of Norway, Jen-Petter Kjemprud, had earlier stopped at the Project Coordination Office in Port Harcourt where he was briefed by the Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil and Management Staff of HYPREP on the activities of the project. Kjemprud assured that Norway will continue to support HYPREP and stressed the importance of the clean-up project to the international community. The visit of the Norwagian Ambassador was his second to HYPREP. The Ambassadors of France, Netherland, UK are among foreign envoys that have visited HYPREP and it is indicative of the attention the clean-up project is receiving from the international community.

HYPREP, under the leadership of Dr. Marvin Dekil has continued to meet with both local and International stakeholders in carrying out the mandate of the project.

Ekaete Umo
Head (Information)