17 April 2018

Nigeria: Govt Begins Medical Outreach Towards Implementing UNEP Report On Ogoniland

Photo: Amnesty International
Boats in Bodo Creek in 2011.

Abuja — The Federal Government has commenced the second phase of its free medical outreach in Ogoniland.This is part of the activities to implement the United Nations Environment Protection Report (UNEP) in the area.

The Project Coordinator of Hydrocarbon Pollutions Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr. Marvin Dekil, disclosed this yesterday.He said Kana people would benefit from the government's gracious approved of the second medical intervention to reach more people.

Dekil added that the free medical outreach would alleviate the suffering of many people, who for years had agonised under painful, but treatable health conditions.

The first phase of the outreach was held in 2017 at Bori, in Kana Local Council Area of River State.This followed President Muhammadu Buhari's concern about the poor living condition of the Ogoni people due to the environmental degradation from oil exploration.

The coordinator noted that the people were deprived due to limited access to health facilities, and lack of financial capacity to treat their ailments. Dekil disclosed that the Federal Government was committed to the implementation of UNEP report on Ogoniland.He added that this second edition of HYPREP Health Outreach Programme is to consolidate on the gains of the first.

According to him: "The exercise would be the culmination of all the processes that had been put in place from the inception of the project in March 2017."We will in the coming weeks, launch the HYPREP Livelihoods Intervention Programme to give new sets of skills to Ogoni women and youths."

This, he, said would enable them to create wealth for themselves, their families and communities.He said the coordination would precede the remediation of impacted sites.

"Presently, the publication for invitation for pre-qualification of contractors for the remediation of hydrocarbon impacted sites in Ogoniland is in some national and international dailies.

"The remediation of Ogoniland would be done by experienced hands locally and internationally, to achieve the desired results of restoring the environment back to an acceptable standard," he said.He declared that as the medical outreach is ongoing, plans were underway for the provision of potable water and the resuscitation of existing facilities.

He said there would also be the construction of new ones to fill the supply gaps in the communities.Dekil explained that the move is part of the Federal Government's deliberate efforts to implement another key recommendation of the UNEP Report.He said the report had suggested the restoration of livelihoods in the impacted communities, whose sources of living were affected by hydrocarbon pollution. The coordinator urged the benefiting communities to cooperate and protect the project to enable the team to deliver on its mandate.

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