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Federal government promises to provide potable water for Ogoni communities affected by oil spill

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The federal government says it will hire six contractors to handle the provision of potable water in Ogoni communities in Rivers state.

This is coming after two journalists Kelechukwu Iruoma and Ruth Olurounbi released an investigative report published by TheCable on how oil pollution and the lack of potable water in the Ogoni area contributed to the health issues of the people in the region.

Two weeks ago, the federal government opened a fresh bid to select contractors to provide potable water in Ogoni communities affected by oil spill.

Over 40 companies submitted their expression of interest to participate in the bidding for the project.

At the opening of the bid in Port Harcourt, Marvin Dekil, project coordinator, Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), said the project is an initiative of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland.

In 2011, UNEP recommended the provision of running water for Ogoni communities whose underground water got polluted by decades of oil spills.

Nine years after the recommendation, no action was taken by the federal government to implement the UNEP report.

Dekil said HYPREP  will coordinate the water projects in four local governments of Eleme, Gokana, Khana and Tai areas, covering Ogoniland to ensure early completion.

“In addition, the water that we are going to provide in Ogoni communities will meet the United Nations and World Health Organisation standards,” he said.

“Ogali, Kpean, Nsisioken, Korokoro, K-Dere and B-Dere communities in Ogoni are the communities that UNEP identified for the water projects. These communities will get the six lots in the first phase of the water project, while others will benefit from subsequent phases as we progress.”

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