CORDAID coordinator in Nigeria, Dr. Akinwumi Oke, made the call at the end of its project on Ogoni clean-up and sustainable livelihood over the weekend in Port Harcourt.
Dr. Oke in his opening remarks stated that the objective of CORDAID was to restore social contract through strategic partners with the aim to empower local communities in the Niger Delta particularly Ogoni to amplify their voices so that they can demand what they need from government.
He maintained that the strategic partnership was about lobby and advocacy on how to restore confidence in the clean-up project and how government can do proper clean-up by providing all emergency measures, such as portable drinking water, health audit and provision of livelihood as part of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), which is part of theory of change.
Dr. Oke who is the coordinator, SP Lobby and Advocacy Programme expressed satisfaction with all partners on the project, appealing that they sustain the tempo.
In their response, Emen Okon of Kebertkaehe Women Development and Resource Centre, highlighted some of the achievements of the organization, which include capacity building, livelihood training and tree planting by women and peace building and campaign for women inclusion in the clean-up process.
Also speaking, Dr. Sam Kabari of Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CORDAID) stated that they conducted baseline study, sensitization and managing Ogoni as communities were empowered to monitor the clean-up.
The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) also trained Ogoni people on peace building, livelihood and sensitization among others.
Explaining further, Mr. Monday Osasa, the Executive Director of Centre L.S.D, through her representative said they organized policy dialogue, sustained publicity and increased awareness on the clean-up between government agencies and civil society organizations.
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) through its representative, Mr. Salau, also mentioned what they did under the project, which includes an improved oversight function of both the Federal and State Legislators around Ogoni clean-up process.
Other partners on the project were Face Initiative, Macjim Foundation and Publish What You Pay (PWYP), whose intervention centres on advocating against illegal refining in Bayelsa State, training communities on rice production, tomatoes and cassava among others.
In a goodwill message, Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN), through her representative, Florence Ibokabasi had expressed optimism that the various communities could sustain what CORDAID has done noting that there was a sad development where more funding from International Communities were now going to the Northern part of Nigeria than the South-South region, which according to him calls for concern.
Others who gave goodwill messages include Dr. Patience Osarojiji, Chief Stephen Kpea, Paramount Ruler of Mogho Community and Royal Chief (AMB) Magnus Edooh, Paramount Ruler of Kwawa and Hon. Dumle Maol, Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Rivers State House of Assembly, represented by Mr. Zaga Phimia Clerk of the Environment Committee.
HYPREP being unable to provide portable water to Ogoni people since its establishment four years ago was part of UNEP report.