Civil Society Groups, stakeholder task HYPREP on best practices for Ogoni Clean-up

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By Gladys Nweke

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has tasked the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to adopt international best practices in the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on the clean-up of oil-impacted communities in Ogoniland.

CISLAC Programme Manager, Kolawole Banwo, said an Environmental, Social, Human Rights Impact Assessment (ESHRIA) would have best been considered in the Ogoni clean-up instead of  the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that was carried out before the cleanup started.

Speaking at a one-day training on Government-CSO/Community-Companies interface session on the implementation and management plans of ESHRIA in Port Harcourt, Banwo said EIA does not consider the feelings and rights of the people but rather, focused only on ensuring that environment is not polluted.

He emphasized that before the cleanup began in Ogoniland, an ESHRIA base line would have been done in order to create more rooms for the people of the area and their generation yet unborn to leverage on the future.

ESHRIA is an all-inclusive and encompassing plan that focuses on ways of improving the lives of the people as well as their environment through long term mitigation plans that would facilitate the people to become whatever they wish to be in future, instead of being a burden to the family and society at large.

Similarly, stakeholders under the aegis of the Civil Society Coalition for Environmental Sustainability (CSCES) have alleged non-compliance of the HYPREP with the recommendations of UNEP Report on Ogoniland.

The group, in partnership with Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Port Harcourt,  argued that HYPREP was not showing any sign of complying with UNEP recommendations and the Ogoni communities’ expectations on the clean-up of the area.

Executive Director, CSCES, Mr Young Kigbara, who insisted that HYPREP was only paying lip service to the clean-up exercise, said the  failure of HYPREP to put the necessary emergency measures in place before clean-up was tantamount to achieving nothing in the long run.

Kigbara said the objective of Ogoni clean-up was to ensure that the land regenerated its endowed resources for the benefit of generations yet unborn after decades of exploitation and degradation of Ogoni environment, by multinational oil  Kigbara condemns attack on NGPTCL gas line

He added that members of the group will strategize on peaceful ways to synergize with HYPREP to enhance the proper clean-up of oil pollution in Ogoni and the entire Niger Delta region.

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