Biannual progress report January–June 2021
In 2020, Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN) and Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) commenced the Independent Civil Society Monitoring of the Ogoniland Cleanup project with support from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and working in partnership with a range of civil society organisations and activists in the region. Via a network of trained monitors from civil society, we are regularly gathering a range of data to track the progress of a large-scale oil pollution clean-up in Ogoniland, Rivers State, Nigeria, conducted by a project of the Ministry of Environment: the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP). Our project will run from 2020 to the end of 2024.
This is the first bi-annual monitoring report of the Independent Civil Society Monitoring of the Ogoniland Clean-up project. It presents data collected from January-June 2021 by a network of trained civil society representatives who act as the project monitors.
Key messages from this report
- About a quarter of clean-up lots handed over to contractors to remediate oil pollution at ‘simple’ sites have been government-certified as complete (13 out of 50). We took samples at six of these lots; contaminants had been reduced to below target levels at four lots, but we found contaminants above target levels at two lots, indicating remedial action is still required.
- The bidding process for ‘complex’ sites has started, but clean-up activities are yet to commence. In addition, work has not commenced to set up an Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre, which will be a prerequisite to enable proper clean-up of complex sites.
- While contractors are now in place to deliver clean drinking water infrastructure, ‘on-the ground’ activities have not started. Community health registries to understand and respond to the effects of oil pollution are not yet in place. These were prescribed by UNEP as emergency measures in 2011.
- Over 1,000 members of affected communities have been employed by contractors to participate in clean-up activities, although only 6% are female. A further 400 women have received targeted livelihood support; however, concerns have been raised over gaps in this support.
- Levels of community satisfaction with HYPREP and clean-up contractors are mixed. In some areas levels of satisfaction are very high, but in others they are very low. Dissatisfaction in communities tends to relate to the poor quality of opportunities offered by the clean-up (e.g. low pay in clean-up jobs), and management of complaints and potential conflict arising from the clean-up.