The report says the situation in Ogoni requires urgent action to protect human health and reduce the risks to affected communities
The Executive Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, a non-governmental organisation, NGO, Nnimmo Bassey, on Sunday decried the non-implementation of the United Nations Environmental Report on Ogoniland by the Federal Government.
The UNEP report, which was released since 2011, revealed that pollution from over 50 years of oil operations in the Nigrr Delta region had penetrated further and deeper in the environment, with some areas, which appeared unaffected at the surface, in reality severely contaminated underground.
The report said the situation in the area required urgent action to protect human health and reduce the risks to affected communities, pointing out that in at least 10 Ogoni communities where drinking water was contaminated with high levels of hydrocarbons, public health was seriously threatened.
But Mr. Bassey was displeased that more than two years after the submission of the report, nothing concrete had been done by the Federal Government to conserve and restore the environment in Ogoniland.
“Not much has happened in Goi community of Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers, for instance, since the creation of Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Programme, HYPREP, to clean up the Niger Delta”, Mr. Bassey said.
He faulted the naming of the environmental clean-up agency HYPREP handling the clean-up exercise, saying that it was different from the recommendation of the UN agency, pointing out that it was wrong to christen a programme that was designed to clean hydrocarbon in an environment “`Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration.”
“Is the agency meant to restore hydrocarbon to the environment or remove it from the environment?” he queried, blaming the inappropriate naming of the agency and hasty take-off of the programme by government.
He said government wss in a hurry to create the body and did not bother to think well about the name before making it public.
He called for the scrapping of HYPREP, which he said should be replacing with the “Ogoni Environmental Restoration Agency’.
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