Group casts doubt on Ogoni water scheme, says addresses on sites are fake

Tina Amanda

A group under the auspices of Ogoni Liberation Initiative has called for total decommissioning of Shell assets and facilities in Ogoni land to enhance effective and comprehensive clean up as recommended by UNEP for HYPREP execution.

Addressing journalists on the issue, the Leader of the Group, Dr Douglas Fabeke, demanded a well designed cleaned and purified water system, using the latest International recommended water technology.

He emphasized that the high deteriorating condition of the Ogoni environment has caused massive premature death, poor crops yields, ill-health and deprivation of all sources of economic livelihood.

“We have carried out our assessment tour with foreign environmentalist, we discovered that the pollution has gone beyond five (5) meters of the surface soil. The Ogoni people, some of them are opportune to dig a borehole, but the taste of the water is like kerosene.

“If they are coming to give Ogoni people water based on the UNEP recommendation, it must be done according to International standard. When the Honourable Minister of Environment came, they flagged off water project in Bori, Khana local area of the state under a dilapidated water tank, they want to renovate all the water tanks in Ogoni land which have been there for over fifty (50) years before I was born.

“We have not seen the water, we only heard it in the news that President Buhari has awarded the contract, just as we heard about HYPREP and the cleanup, with the same Minister of Environment telling the world that fifteen (15) part of Ogoni land has been cleaned up.

“We have gone through the cleanup site and we are yet to see anywhere in Ogoni that has been successfully cleaned. So If we are not careful, this water project may only be heard on the radio, television, read on newspapers, while the people in Ogoni who are suffering the environmental impact will not have access to drink the clean water.

“The federal government can not just come and flag off water project in Ogoni. If they really want to give us water, the Minister of Environment would have presented the kind of technology that would be used and the company in charge of the project. I have gone round the project site to know the contractor, but I have not been able to see one, all the address on the clean site are fake.

“We will not stop demanding it until we witness that the water project has been established to a standard that will enable the people to drink clean water”

Dr Fabeke demanded further the establishment of an integrated contaminated soil management centre for environmental restoration in Ogoni land, in order to promote learning and researches in other areas impacted by oil contamination in the Niger Delta region.

“It is professionally noted that without adhering to the UNEP recommendations, there cannot be perfect environmental remediation in the land. We are ever ready to bring the best idea on board to make sure that our people breathe in fresh air, drink clean water and enjoy good environment for good health and economic development.

“We will not accept any form of oppressive political manipulation of anything that belongs to the Ogoni people which will not give us a successful result. We have registered our cases in the law Court of Nigeria in order to go by the dictate of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to decide our rights.

“Where the Federal government of Nigeria fails to comply, we shall cry to the International Community for further action. Ogoni issues are known all over the world, so, let the solutions also be known all over the world”

Our correspondent report that the Ogoni Liberation Initiative have already instituted another legal action in suit No: FHC/PHC/CS/45/2021 at a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, against the Minister of Environment, Shell, Chairman HYPREP Board of Trustees and Acting Project Coordinator HYPREP.