We’re progressing on water and health studies — Dr. Marvin Dekil

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By Gladys Nweke

The chief executive officer (CEO) of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr Marin Dekil, has made some reassuring statement on the focus of the agency in Ogoni areas.

He has said; “One of the reoccurring issues here is water as an emergency measure and we’re on track doing that. From last Friday we started inviting the contractors to collect RFPs (Request for Proposals), which is the final stage for the award of contracts. So you’ll soon have those contractors in the communities doing water. They’re asking for water and we’ve assured them that water is coming; not only water but also the health studies.”

Dr Dekil made this statement during the visit of the UNEP team that visited to do assessment. This visit would be followed by the recommended study which has been an issue in contention.

He went on: “The most important thing is that we’re using Ogoni indigenous doctors for the study. We’re using the international facilities at the Swizz public health system, we’re using the University Teaching Hospital, we’re using the local health institutions, we’re using the Primary Healthcare Board in Rivers State, we’re using the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital.

“So we have a complete package that will take the database of all the diseases in this area which we did earlier through our medical outreach. So we have the data and we’re progressing in that regard. .

He went on: “When it comes to the Centre of Excellence, the fact is that it is to be built at the end of our experience in the project and not at the beginning as it is widely touted. So we’re on track, we’ve noted the areas where we need improvement. The Minister stated that there will be changes and we’ve already started those changes both on the technical specifications as well as the community consultation aspect. All of these as a full package will give a renewed and accelerated implementation of Ogoni report.”

NGOs have questioned why the HYPREP would decide that the sensitive centre should be done last instead of first.

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