Ogoni land is located in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
For years, this region has witnessed environmental degradation due to oil operations. Water bodies contaminated, farmlands wasted.
This unfortunate scenario gave life to the agitation and militancy in the region as residents demanded their fair share of proceeds from oil that transformed parts of Nigeria and swelled the pockets of the oil majors – while inhabitants of the region lived in poverty.
After years of dialogue, the Nigerian government and the multinationals agreed to a total clean up of the Ogoni area.
Through the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), both parties have been working to address the years of neglect, sorrow, destruction and death.
To ensure a local buy-in, Marvin Barinem Dekil was appointed the Project Coordinator.
Besides overseeing the successful implementation of the clean-up, several projects aimed at creating a sustainable livelihood chain for Ogoni residents have been on stream.
To this end, HYPREP launched a garri processing factory completely fabricated by Ogoni youths and the training of 1200 Ogoni women in 4 Agro-allied businesses.
The cassava processing factory can produce 5 tonnes of garri in a day.
Marvin Dekil assured of Federal Government’s desire to fulfilling its promise to Ogoni people.
“So, the 1,200 Ogoni women will be trained in different agro-allied skills in feed formation, poultry, fish farming and cropping for six months. HYPREP has engaged United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to train the women. This means the women will get quality training at the end. The training marks a significant milestone in our continuous effort to provide alternative source of livelihood to people in the impacted Ogoni communities. Also, the exercise is further indication of President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to implement the UNEP report to better the lot of Ogoni people and Niger Delta at large.”
Marvin Barinem Dekil, HYPREP Project Coordinator
King GNK Gininwa, Chair Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for working to ensure the project succeeded.
The optimism shown by the Ogoni traditional council seems to mirror the views of residents.
Surely, this project could be a template for ensuring peace in the Niger Delta region.