The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N6,048,318,974.74 billion for the provision of potable water in the four Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Ogoniland in Rivers State.
These are Gokana, Khana, Eleme and Tai local government areas.
The Minister of Environment, Muhammad Mahmoud, announced this on Wednesday while briefing State House reporters on the outcome of the federal cabinet meeting.
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Mahmoud, while speaking on the approval, said: “If you recall, the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, otherwise known as HYPREP, was commissioned in 2016 to clean Ogoniland, impacted areas of Ogoniland, based on a report by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
“The mandate of the project is not just cleaning up the contaminated areas by oil pollution, but also to provide drinking water and three to also provide alternative livelihood for the people of that area.
“This is a project that previous governments have tried to do, but it just turned out to…just talk, but President Buhari, in 2015 promised and this thing started in 2016 and currently, there will be six water projects that will be provided in this four local government areas of Ogoniland and this has just been approved and work will start immediately.”
He said the projects have different prices and different completion periods, ranging from six months all the way to nine months, depending on the atmosphere.
He said: “It’s rehabilitation and construction and some of these will link with the Rivers State Government’s water system.”
The minister, while reacting to questions on the reason behind the delay in the clean-up, also blamed some communities that refused to grant access to the sites.
He, however, disclosed that a total of 15 oil-polluted sites had been cleaned up in Ogoniland.
The minister also revealed that a contract for the clean-up of additional 36 states sites was awarded in late 2019.