Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
The Project coordinator, Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr Marvin Dekil said his office is engaging Ogoni ex-artisanal refiners on how to restore their livelihoods and examine their health condition over their past illegal refining activities in the area.
He said the illegal activities of the Ogoni artisanal refiners may have constituted a health hazard on them, adding that one of the key recommendations by the UNEP report is the conduct of health impact study on the people and the impacted communities.
Dekil made this known yesterday while addressing journalists at the HYPREP office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital as part of the event marking his 100 days in office as project coordinator.
He said apart from engaging with the ex-artisanal refiners he is also glad that the office of the Acting Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibanjo who had promised to set up modular refineries to address the issue of illegal refining in the region will be of benefit to them.
He noted that the project office of HYPREP has done a lot within one to set the boll running on Ogoni clean which he declared are evidence for people to believe on the reality of the project.
Dekil said: “Within one year in office as Project coordinator, we have done a lot, we have our action plans on Health impart assessment, demonstration of remediation technologies, training, emergency measures and communities sensitization. And if you go to Ogoni today the signs are there.
“The plan is that we don’t want the artisanal refiners to go back to the illegal activities and pollute our environment. A program is beeng considered to sustainably address the economic and environmental issues. Training and enterprise development curriculum is been considered as an option.
“Of course, we are glad that the office of the President is committed to providing a lasting solution to the environmental issues in the Niger Delta. The office of the Vice President at present is developing a programme for the establishment of Modular refineries.”