By: Bamidele Fashube
THE Federal Government has approved the sum of N6 billion to provide drinkable water for residents of four Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Rivers State.
The benefitting communities include Gokana, Khana, Eleme, and Tai.
Muhammad Mahmood, the Minister of Environment disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held Wednesday in Abuja.
The gesture was part of activities to address water scarcity and water pollution challenge in the concerned local government areas.
While briefing the State House Correspondents after the weekly virtual FEC meeting, Dr. Abubakar stated that just over N6 billion has been earmarked for the provision of portable water in the LGAs of Gokana, Khana, Eleme, and Tai.
— Hon. Minister of Environment (@HMEnvng) March 4, 2021
Mahmood restated commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to implementing the United Nations Environmental Report (UNEP) on the Ogoniland oil spill.
“Buhari has remained committed to the full implementation of the clean-up of Ogoniland, ruined by decades of oil spillage. He explained that the provision of potable water was part of the recommendation made by the UNEP Report on Ogoniland,” he stated.
In terms of remediation efforts, he said activities are currently ongoing in Ogoniland.
According to him, no less than 15 of the hydrocarbon impacted sites have been completely cleaned up under HYPREP.
Addressing comments about the Ogoniland cleanup being behind schedule, the minister acknowledged the fault but attributed the delays to communal disputes in some parts of the area.
Besides the cleanup, the UNEP report also recommended empowerment of the rural communities affected by the spill. The recommendations also include the provision of health facilities and vocational centres as part of measures to restore the livelihoods of the people affected by the age-long oil pollution.