By Ikuru Lizzy
Traditional leaders and youth of the Ogoni country have been urged to protect public infrastructure from vandals determined to sabotage government efforts.
This is contained in a statement from the new Chairman, Board of Directors, Oil Pollution and Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr Mike Nwielaghi, Wednesday in Port Harcourt.
Nwielaghi said acts of sabotage by a few criminals in the region made it difficult for the government to successfully tackle the challenge of water scarcity in Ogoni country.
He recalled that the provision of drinking water in areas affected by hydrocarbons was among the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report, adding that sabotage had slowed the process.
The president said vandals in various communities have deliberately destroyed sensitive equipment, rendering water projects ineffective.
“One thing I have to say is that there have been several water projects in this state. As we speak, the state government has promised to drive its water project.
“HYPREP, on the other hand, is embarking on several hydraulic projects, the same is true for the federal government.
“Just two days ago, a multi-billion naira drinking water project was reported by Environment Minister Dr Mohammad Abubakar.
“There was a water project here in Ogoni located in the community of Baen, the cross-linking went to the Kono region, this project had to meet the water needs of the communities of Kono and Kwawa.
“Let me ask, are we drinking this water anymore?” The reason is simple, our people have continued to sabotage government and business efforts in the region.
“You ask for potable water, when it is provided, after a month or two the equipment is vandalized and you come back to ask yourself why you can’t drink the water anymore,” he said.
The chairman of the board also said that HYPREP is also working with the Rivers State government to fund some of the water projects as part of its “ livelihoods program. ” (NOPE)
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