By GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, PORT HARCOURT
House of Representatives Committee on Host Communities has advised residents of Ogoni to provide a peaceful environment for proper remediation of oil impacted sites in Ogoni land.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Host Communities, Mr. Dumnamene Deko who gave the advice during an oversight function to project sites in Gokana Local Government Area, Rivers State, however enjoined contractors to fast track the exercise.
Mr. Dekor gave the advice following security concerns in some of the communities, which slowed down the pace of work on the remediation of oil impacted sites in Ogoni land and hinted on the need for collaboration between the residents and Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP.
The member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives who decried security issues in some of the project sites, reminded the people that proper remediation of the impacted sites would boost their economic status.
“There are security concerns that were raised and there are issues of collaboration.”
“I think that it should be one of the matters to be taken into consideration.”
“I also want to call on our own people, especially the young men who live within these areas.”
“You must understand that this is an opportunity and we have to take advantage of it.”
While addressing the delegation, the Acting Project Cordinator, HYPREP, Professor Philip Shekwolo said that having gone far in the potable water scheme, more attention was on livelihood programmes.
“You can see that since we came on board, the livelihood programme has gained speed; the portable water scheme has also gained speed.”
“We are going to have youths who will be trained in various skills that they have chosen.”
“We are also working on the center of excellence.”
Professor Shekwolo expressed optimism of the determination of HYPREP to restore Ogoni land.
Earlier, The Chairman, Gokana Local Government Area, Mr. Confidence Dekor, during a courtesy call to his office by the delegation, promised that enabling environment would be provided for execution of the projects.
“We appreciate this and we are not taking things for granted.”
“We will join you in your effort by providing enabling environment you need to carry out your duties that at the end of the day, a proper cleanup would be achieved.”
Mr. Dekor asked that the Local government authority be carried along in the process of the cleanup