We will support implementation of UNEP report, says Ogoni people

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Communities in Ogoni land in Rivers on Friday, conceded to cooperate in resumed efforts to implement the United Nations Environment Programme,UNEP, report and clean up the polluted environment in the oil state.

The Executive Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, who spoke in Yenagoa, said that the communities have resolved after a capacity building workshop in Ogoni.

In peace building effort to avoid conflict, Bassey said that HOMEF organised the workshop with theme: Building Community Resilience Towards the Implementation of the UNEP Report at Ken Saro-Wiwa Peace Centre, Bori, Ogoni Rivers.

He said the training sought to develop the skills needed for participants to promote, mentor and serve as watchdogs on the Implementation of the UNEP Report has participants selected from Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme Local Government Areas.

In his observation, Bassey said that the Ogoni environment is a disaster zone in dire need of clean up, describing government’s move to implement the UNEP report as the right step.

According to him, the implementation of the UNEP report will not be effective without the full support of the Ogoni people, suggesting the need for a holistic monitoring of the environmental clean up and remediation processes to ensure that a thorough work is done.

Bassey noted that the stakeholders in the area had agreed to create awareness of all Ogoni communities on the UNEP report, stressing that the sensitization will ensure that everyone is fully aware and correct the misconceptions on the report.

He said that the participants also resolved to assist institutions involved in the clean-up, urging that work plans, milestones are fully discussed with the Ogoni people.

They also resolved to educate their people that on the clean up financial budget is for cleaning up the environment, which is separate from their compensations.

In completion of the workshop, Bassey said a Monitoring Network was set up called the Ogoni Ecological Defenders, OED, which will regularly train, monitor and report on the clean-up and other ecological incidents.