UN expert okays remediation process in Ogoni

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By Codratus Godson & Gladys Nweke

A United Nations expert, Michael Cowing, the man who led the UNEP investigations and issued the famous Report in 2011 that awarded #1Bn to clean up Ogoni says the technology being used is right.

The UNEP expert and representative in Nigeria expressed satisfaction with the biological remediation process of the less complex sites in Ogoni when the ambassador of the Netherlands, Ms Marion Kappeyne, visited Ogoni to inspect the extent and quality of work.

Cowing, explained that the Federal Government re-engaged UNEP to assist HYPREP in the implementation of the recommendations that the UN agency made in the 2011 Report.

He explained that as part of the process, UNEP took members of the clean-up governing council, including the Minister of Environment, Minister Niger Delta Affairs and the Managing Director of SPDC, to the United Kingdom to have first-hand knowledge about project of this magnitude.

”A good preparation for the biological remediation of the site, this is a less complex site so the remediation by nature is going to be less complex. When we move to the heavily contaminated sites, then we can be looking at a more sophisticated remediation approach. For site of this nature, what I am seeing now is appropriate and in line with what I had expected.

”The Nigerian government has re-engaged UNEP to help HYPREP implement this cleanup project, and by help means that we are strengthening the capacity of HYPREP.

”We have initiated a number of technical training courses, we have also taken members of the clean-up governing council to the United Kingdom last week and we exposed them to large remediation projects in UK, so they would have an understanding of how  projects of this nature are done in the UK, the technology, planning, contractual relationship and also compliance with legislation.”

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