- FG engages youth in cleaning up exercise
- Says restiveness affecting the progress of the exercise.
The Federal Government has sued for peace with the people of Ogoniland, urging them to remain peaceful and avoid taking actions capable of delaying the clean-up in oil-impacted communities in the area.
The Project Coordinator, Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr Marvin Dekil made the plea on Friday in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers state.
Speaking at a sensitisation and town hall meeting with stakeholders in the area, Dekil who reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the clean-up exercise said that peace was needed in the area to enable contractors to commence clean-up of decades-long oil spills in the area.
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While reminding the Ogoni people that HYPREP had in January presented and handed over the sites to contractors who were tasked to carry out the remediation works in the communities, Dekil said that the meeting would have been to inform the people of the level of work achieved by the contractors working in the communities, but, regrettably, there is no report to that effect.
“The reason is not far-fetched as restiveness affects people and activities in which the clean-up exercise is not an exception,” he said,.
He, however, said that remediation works had fully commenced in Eleme Local Government Area with youths in the area engaged by the contractors.
He noted that in Eleme, contractors have mobilised to site; equipment is on ground and work has fully commenced in most of the sites.
“To this end, youths in these communities are engaged at different levels in each of the sites,” he said.
Dekil said that youth engagement and empowerment was a critical component of the clean-up project as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
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According to him, 15 Ogoni youths were recently trained on the fabrication of cassava processing machines at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Onne, Rivers.
He further revealed that the agency was in an advanced stage to train another set of 400 youths in line with the UNEP recommendations.
“So, we are urging the youths of Ogoni to give peace a chance; support the clean-up project and take full advantage of the opportunities that the clean-up brings,” he said