Ogoni: Niger Delta Clean-up “Too Slow”, Says MOSOP
Photo courtesy of African Arguments
According to the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), the project for the clean-up of Ogoniland is being conducted in a slow pace, while pollution of the Niger Delta region continues. Even though the clean-up plan had been officially launched in June 2016, only recently has a project manager been announced. He is yet to put together a secretariat and create an action plan and he has to wait for the approval of the governing council before the clean-up can be implemented. MOSOP spokesman Bariara Kpalap points out that people continue to die because of the high levels of pollution in Ogoniland and that rivers irreversibly polluted by oil spills have forced many fishermen and farmers to interrupt their activities.
The article below was published by The Nation:
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has expressed concern over the clean-up of Ogoniland, saying “it is too slow.”
“We are very uncomfortable with this slow pace because the environmental pollution in the area is not lessening instead it is deepening and the more it is delayed the more it spreads and deepens”, it said.
Its spokesman, Bariara Kpalap told The Nation on telephone that the slow pace was not helping the situation, adding that people are still dying in large numbers from environmental pollution.
The people who are mainly farmers and fishermen, he said, could no longer fish or farm because the rivers were destroyed by oil spills.
“People are dying as a result of the pollution, our fishermen can no longer fish, the contamination of the waters have killed the fishes, so nothing has happened,’’ he said.
According to him, the problem has not abated because nothing has been done to address the environmental pollution in Ogoni, adding that the environment still remains polluted.
“We want this issue of pollution in Ogoni land to be resolved and we do not see how continued delay will help and that is why we are insisting that this whole thing should assume a level of response through implementation.
“In a situation where it takes about six months for a fast-track action to be announced, it takes another six months or more for the Governing Council and the Board of Trustees to be announced and inaugurated, it takes another six months or more for ground breaking to be done, it takes another six months or more for kick off and just like that, the impact is not being felt.
‘’We want something that will be more pragmatic than it is now.’’
According to him, because of this delay, people are beginning to lose confidence in the exercise, adding that they to feel that the whole thing is a trick.
He urged the government to be committed to the clean-up, adding that the exercise must be active. ‘’I must confess that the pace is extremely slow, though the process is on because the project manager has just been appointed and he only assumed duties on the March 1, I think that on assumption of duties, he will now have to organise the secretariat, get things in shape and begin to draw up action plan, a framework for the process, all these things will require time to develop and design after which the exact plan will now be sent to the governing council for approval before any meaningful implementation can take place.