by FRIDAY OLOKOR
The Federal Government will soon release $10m to begin the process of cleaning up areas devastated by oil spills in Ogoniland in Rivers State.
An estimated $1.04bn would be required to effectively clean up the entire area of the oil spill in Ogoniland, according to a recent assessment report by the United Nations Environment Programme.
Beyond the expected funds, stakeholders who attended a roundtable to assess the implementation of the UNEP recommendations in Abuja on Tuesday suggested the review of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Act 2006 to incorporate responsibility for environmental contamination to a separate government agency.
They also expressed fears that there might be a fresh crisis, if the community was not carried along when the funds are eventually released.
The UNEP report, which was released in August 2011, chronicled the effect of oil spills in the region which has also resulted in water contamination in Ogoniland and severely impacted many other components of the environment.
The study also indicated that the environmental restoration in Ogoniland was feasible but might take 25 to 30 years to be achieved. Read full on Punch