Ogoni: Assisting in the Clean-Up of Ogoniland
While the 2011 UNEP report estimated that approximately $1.04 billion is needed to effectively clean up the devastated areas in Ogoniland. The government of Nigeria will provide $10 million to launch the clean-up.
Below is an article published by The Tide:
Stakeholders have urged the Ogonis to unite and join hands together with the Federal Government towards the successful implementation of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on the cleanup of polluted sites in Ogoniland.
This was part of a resolution reached at the end of a workshop on building community resilience towards the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report in Bori, Khana Local Government Area.
The Workshop was organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) in collaboration with Kebetkache women Development Centre and D.S.F.
Executive Director of HOMEF Rev. Nimmo Bassey said that the workshop was to ensure that, representatives of Ogoni communities work together to support the cleanup programme.
He said that as critical stakeholders the success and failure of the cleanup process will depend on them.
“Although ten million dollars has been approved, but there is a great question of seriousness and commitment. The workshop is to help them understand that the process is about life.
“Right now the water is polluted, so the whole thing is a lifeline that has been thrown at the people” he said.
Rev. Bassey said that the event was not meant to question the UNEP Report itself, “but we will interrogate our readiness to engage with the process and institutions being set up to bring our answers into effect.
“First we will assure ourselves that the implementation of the UNEP Report is a lifeline that must be unreservedly grabbed.
“Anything to slow or abort the process should be seen as an attempt to keep the people trapped in the death-grip of hydrocarbon pollution” he said. The Environmentalist also called for the involvement of women in the implementation process, as they are the most vulnerable group as far as pollution is concerned.
According to him, “A successful cleanup of the Ogoni environment will attest to the fact that the struggle for a clean environment is not a criminal desire, but a necessary, one that we must all demand and contribute to.
“This workshop is the first step to preparing us all to be a part of the answer to the questions that have persisted for too long.
“It is one step on the long road to stem the tide of the pollutions that have yielded one of the most toxic environments in the world”. Speaking on the topic: UNEP Report: a vital life Dr Fidelis Allen of the centre for ethnic conflict and Gender Studies, University of Port Harcourt said that, the exclusion of communities from participation in the implementation process must be resisted with superior engagement.
According to Dr Allen Environmental justice will be served with mass participation by communities in the overall implementation process of the report.
Photo courtesy of Stakeholder Democracy@Flickr