Cleaning of the Ogoni: HYPREP completes the characterization and delimitation of complex sites

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The Oil Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has completed the characterization and delineation of complex and medium risk sites across Ogoniland.
HYPREP project coordinator Dr Ferdinand Giadom, who dropped the hint during a workshop in Port Harcourt on Thursday, said characterization and delineation were done to determine the specific characteristics of each site and the extent of contamination and any clean-up measures to be taken.
According to him, the characterization of the site is in line with HYPREP’s standard operating procedures for assessment.
Giadom said it was preceded by the Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) modality, adding that ERT is a near-surface geophysical tool for ground characteristics and maps soil structure.
He further noted that prior to the characterization of medium risk sites, a pilot test was carried out at Korokoro Well 3 in Tai Local Government Area to show the effectiveness and efficiency of using the ERT, hand auger and groundwater monitoring boreholes to determine extent of contamination and site specifics.
“The study showed that the site is heavily contaminated with oil pollution in soil and groundwater samples taken from constructed groundwater monitoring boreholes and hand-drilled holes,” it said. -he declares.
Giadom further revealed that from HYPREP’s survey of impacted sites in 2022, in which 15 medium-risk sites were selected for characterization and delineation, three of the 15 sites were completed and completed. found to have varying degrees of contamination in both the soil and groundwater samples taken.
While further revealing that HYPREP has started the implementation of UNEP recommendations with regards to mangrove restoration, Giadom said that 50 lots from 21 sites were distributed in phase 1, lots 1 and 2 of the works. sanitation.
According to him, 21 lots from 12 sites were awarded under the Phase 1, Lot 1 remediation contract, while 29 lots across the nine sites were awarded under the Phase 1 remediation contract. , lot 2.
At present, he said remediation work has been completed and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) closeout processes have been successful for 16 lots on all 50 lots, noting that all the other lots were at various stages of remediation work. and closing processes.
On mangrove restoration in Ogoniland, Giadom said HYPREP had in its 2021 work plan proposed to conduct pre-SCAT activities in affected Ogoni coastal communities in Gokana, Khana, Tai and local government areas. Element.
According to him, the SCAT team started field activities at B-Dere and K-Dere in Gokana and assessed a total of 351 grids covering an area of ​​about 1,416 hectares.
He said the grids assessed were along degraded coastal channels, mudflats and mangrove platforms, saying the workshop was aimed at giving HYPREP more momentum in achieving its mandate to remediate the the Ogoni environment.
For his part, the representative of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Mr. Michael Cowing, commended the current leadership of HYPREP under the leadership of Dr. Ferdinand Giadom for adopting international best practices in the implementation of UNEP recommendations.
Cowing, who spoke virtually, criticized previous HYPREP administrations for failing to adhere to principles of transparency and accountability in implementing UNEP recommendations, and advised current leaders to learn some lessons from their gaps for future progress and development. of the Ogonil country.
The Director General of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr. Idris Musa, commended HYPREP for the bold move in its efforts to raise awareness among contractors and stakeholders to raise awareness of the cleanup project, noting that the federal government is committed to the cleanup project.
Musa said the bioremediation method that HYPREP has adopted for the remediation of less complex impacted sites in Ogoniland will continue to be relevant, “yesterday, today and tomorrow”, assuring that NOSDRA will continue to monitor, regulate and evaluate the progress of remediation works in Ogoniland.
The detailed characterization, remediation strategies and framework development workshop also featured resource persons. HYPREP’s Director of Technical Services, Prof. Philip Shekwolo, presented an overview of remediation activities in Ogoniland, while an international researcher, Prof. Chidi Ibe, presented a paper on remediation strategies.
Bodo Mediation Initiative (BMI) Project Director, Mr. Erich Gundlach, spoke about shoreline remediation; Teacher. Gideon Abu of the University of Port Harcourt on bioremediation; and Dr. Bonte Mattijs on site-specific target levels in intertidal estuaries.
The representative of the Permanent Secretary of the Rivers State Ministry of Environment, Pastor Emmanuel Fienimika, who is the Director in charge of the Department of Inspection and Enforcement, commended HYPREP for the workshop, describing the coordinator of the HYPREP project as a man of action.
While pleased that HYPREP has invited highly experienced professionals in bioremediation techniques to serve as resource persons, Fienemika said he foresees the generation of an improved operating model that will speed up the process and emphasize transparency. , which are the main public concerns about the remediation project.

By: Donat Ebi

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