Illegal refining threatens $1bn Ogoni cleanup exercise

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Addressing State House reporters at the weekend, the coordinator for the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, (HYPREP), Marvin Dekilby, said activities of illegal and artisanal oil refiners are threatening the $1 billion Ogoni cleanup project in Rivers State and if not stopped, could cause recontamination after the ongoing remediation, Daily Trust reports.

Dekilby said the HYPREP had begun to engage with the artisanal oil refiners with a view to checkmating their activities. He said: “We’re also in the process of engaging with the ex-artisanal refiners. This is another key aspect of our activities. It’s important that the artisanal refining activities in the area are stopped because it’s a source of worry in sense of, this is source of possible recontamination after cleanup.”

He said work had commenced on the cleanup exercise as eight remediation active sites carrying out demonstration projects across four local government areas of Ogoniland had so far been successfully created. Dekilby also said the HYPREP had trained young Ogoni scientists with a background in environmental science in order to manage the demonstration sites in the area.