Hope for clean water in Ogoni rises again as Rivers State Government, HYPREP sign deal to provide quality water

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By Codratus Godson & Gladys nweke

Many research groups have unveiled reports to show that Ogoni people are drinking water full of high presence of benzene. The UNEP Report of 2011 had mandated the oil company to provide water as immediate relief and this prompted the Eleme Water Scheme sponsored by Shell and executed by the Rivers State government then led by Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

The project was later allowed to go into rot. Many years after, the state government seems to rise to action again to save the people from cancer-causing water.

Details

The Rivers Government has signed a partnership agreement with the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project(Hyprep) for the provision of safe, potable  water for the people of Ogoni land in line with the new Rivers vision of the present administration.

Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja, who represented the State Government at the event, explained that the move was part of the critical projects of the remediation of the oil impacted communities in Ogoni land as recommended by United Nations Environment Programme.(UNEP).

Dr Gogo Jaja noted that the Rivers State Government under the leadership of Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was committed to the development of the State, emphasizing that, the State government was poised to providing a conductive  environment for the smooth execution of the water project.

The State Water Resources and Rural Development Commissioner urged contractors that will be handling the water project to execute the project in line with International best standard, emphasizing that, the present government which anchors on quality project execution will not compromise standard.

He urged the host communities to accord HYPREP the needed  cooperation for speedy completion of the project, adding that, the Ministry will also engage the relevant communities in the area for smooth operation of the project which will have direct bearing on the people of ogoni land.

At the same vein, the Acting Project Coordinator, HYPREP, Prof Philip Shekwole, noted that the event was historic; bearing in mind that water supply is significant. He pointed out that the water project will touch an average Ogoni person.

Prof Shekwole who commended the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for prioritizing the development of the State, assured that, the water project will be deliver in line with the specification of government.

While describing water as life, Prof Shekwole also lauded the State government for the partnership to provide quality water consumption for the people of Ogoni and appealed to stakeholders of Ogoni to partner the State government and HYPREP in ensuring successful execution of the project in the area.

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