The British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Gill Atkinson has commended the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP over the quality of work done on the Ogoniland clean-up exercise.

Gill, who led some officials of the High Commission on a working visit to some sites in Ogoniland being remediated by HYPREP, said she was excited by the quality and level of work done so far in the ongoing clean-up of Ogoniland, which is in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP Report on the Ogoni environment.

She said: “it is really good to see some strong progress happening here and genuine implementation of the project which has taken time to plan, but as we can see, there is a real productive work going on now.  Congratulations to HYPREP for work well done”.

She therefore assured of British Government’s support politically and also offering long term expert support for the project through the Department for International Development.

Meanwhile HYPREP Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Barinem Dekil while briefing the British Deputy High Commissioner on the progress of work, reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the implementation of the recommendations contained in the United Nations Environment Project UNEP Report to the letter in the Ogoni clean-up project.

“HYPREP has carried out several engagements with various stakeholders at the community level to get their buy-in to enable them take ownership of the project.  This sensitisation of the communities has provided a platform for HYPREP to harvest ideas and suggestions from the people which have yielded positive results. 

“The project is enjoying full support from the traditional rulers, youth groups and women groups in all the communities that the clean-up is currently taking place”, the Project Coordinator said.

He also explained that the bio-remediation option adopted by HYPREP for the clean-up is a slow process but the most effective.  It was gathered that a total of 21 contractors are currently at different levels of remediation works on 21 lots across the four Local Government Areas of Ogoniland.

The HYPREP Coordinator also told the Deputy High Commissioner that the project has provided huge employment opportunities for youths of Ogoniland while business opportunities have also sprang up as a result of the ripple effects of activities in the communities.

He disclosed that HYPREP has gone into partnerships with the Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources to be able to provide portable water to more communities in Ogoniland; as well as Rivers State Ministry of Health to carry out assessment of all medical facilities in Ogoniland.

HYPREP has also entered into similar partnerships with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture IITA and the Stakeholder Democracy Network SDN to provide training to Ogoni youths under the Sustainable Livelihood Programme.

The Deputy High Commissioner and her team were later led by Dr. Dekil to pay a courtesy visit to the King of Eleme Kingdom, Emere Philip Obele in his palace where she was decorated and conferred with the title of Egbere Owa Ekoo, Eko of Eleme, which means in local language; Big woman and friend of Eleme Kingdom.