Determined to achieve the clean-up of Ogoniland, the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, in collaboration with the Niger Delta Development Commission, has trained 35 technical assistants.
The technical assistants, according to HYPREP, will monitor the clean-up of polluted sites in Ogoniland.
HYPREP’s Head of Communications, Mr. Isa Wasa, said in Goi, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, on Tuesday that the training was aimed equipping the personnel with the skills to work with firms that would handle the project as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme.
Wassa explained that more graduates of Environmental Sciences would be trained in line with global best practices; with the aim of equipping them to be able to manage the task ahead.
He stated, “This training is the second in the series. The essence is that these personnel will work with the companies that will be selected after the procurement process. We do not take the training of our personnel for granted, because training is key.
“Right now, we have 35 in this phase and it is going to be a continuous process. It is not going to end here. Capacity building is key, so it is going to be a continuous process.
“Their role is to work along the companies that will be selected through the procurement process to work with them and ensure that best practices are employed in the project.
“We also thank the NDDC, which has supported us to conduct this training. Our doors are open to other supporters; we invite other organisations to join us in ensuring that the HYPREP mandate of remediation and restoration of livelihoods is achieved.”
In his remarks, Mr. John Ukpatu, who spoke on behalf of the trained technical assistants, said the training was significant because it prepared them ahead for the task of cleaning up Ogoniland.
Ukpatu explained that they had taken water and soil samples from the area to determine the current level of pollution, adding that the samples would be taken to the laboratory for analyses.
“As technical assistants, based on our training and knowledge in Environmental Sciences, we are going to monitor and also be of assistance to the HYPREP for the implementation of the clean-up,” he said.