The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria ERA/FoEN has described as a welcome idea the Federal Executive Council approval of over N6 billion for the provision of clean portable water for Ogoni communities.
Ogoniland in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria is an area where oil spillage has taken over making it difficult for dwellers of the area to get drinkable water, farm or fish due to the spillage and water pollution.
the environmental rights organisation said the water project was one of the emergency measures recommended in the Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, Ogoni Environmental Assessment report that Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, was expected to pursue aggressively at the launch of the cleanup project in 2011 but refused despite its (ERA/FoEN’s) consistent advocacy about the lasting impact this would have on other aspects of the project.
A statement signed by Mike Karikpo, Porgrammes Director, ERA/FoEN on behalf of the Executive Director, Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo, expressed concern that the goodwill of the people and a lot of time has already been lost by HYPREP, adding that “clear milestones, workplans and key performance indicators have not been delivered by the agency, leaving their operations lacking transparency and accountability.”
The statement called on the Federal Ministry of environment and HYPREP to make the contractual terms and costs for the over N6 billion water projects public so that local communities, civic groups and even the international community can monitor and evaluate the success of the project ERA/FoEN described as “very important and people-oriented aspect of the project adequately.
“It is critical that there is community and civil society participation in drawing up a short-term and long-term Workplans, Key Performance Indicators and milestones for the next five years of the project,” it added.