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HYPREP; Ogoni Youths Gets Training Admits Clean Up Process


HYPREP; Ogoni Youths Gets Training Admits Clean Up Process

By Katherine Abayomi, Port Harcourt

For over six decades, the Niger Delta region has suffered the devastating consequences of oil extraction, which has poisoned communities, ravaged farmlands, and left countless people without livelihoods. The persistent pollution has turned the once-thriving region into an ecological disaster zone, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and despair.

In accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has been tasked with overseeing the ongoing cleanup of the contaminated lands in Ogoni.

To achieve this, HYPREP, as one of its approaches to restoring livelihoods, has organized a three-day training programme for community members from the four local councils in Ogoni land. The programme aimed at equipping them with practical skills to enhance their livelihoods, actively participate in the cleanup efforts, and pave the way for sustainable restoration of their environment.

The inaugural day of the three-day workshop on business proposal development kicked off with a strong turnout of 300 youths from the Ogoni ethnic nationality, comprising university undergraduates and graduates.

This event builds on the success of the career enhancement and employability workshop held in April 2024. It provides a platform for young individuals to acquire essential skills in proposal writing and further enhance their career prospects.

Professor Nenibarry Zabbey, Project Coordinator of HYPREP, addressing the gathering, emphasised that the training programme is designed to empower the young people of Ogoni with the skills to craft compelling proposals, thereby enhancing their capacity to secure scholarships and pursue their academic and professional aspirations.

This initiative aims to support and encourage the youths to reach their full potential and soar to greater heights.
Professor Zabbey implored the youths to become ambassadors of positive change, urging them to condemn and resist vandalism and theft of HYPREP facilities in Ogoniland.
He also encouraged them to spread the message of peace, embrace civil education, and adopt environmental stewardship.

Furthermore, he challenged them to maximize the training opportunity by being curious, asking questions, practicing their skills, and building networks to benefit them in their future endeavors.
“HYPREP will continue to support you, answer your questions, and provide the guidance you need,” he said.

Professor Zabbey emphasized that the skills and knowledge they gain during this training will have a far-reaching impact, not only on their personal and professional pursuits but also on contributing to the growth and development of Ogoniland and the nation at large and, ultimately, the successful implementation of the HYPREP project.

He encouraged them to recognize the significance of their role in shaping the future of their community and to embrace the opportunity to make a positive impact.

He further encouraged them to be fully engaged in the workshop and be positive in pursuing their personal goals.

Meanwhile, the Publicity Secretary of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People(MOSOP), Comrade Imeabe Saviour Oscar, expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the workshop, commending the organizers for their efforts in making the project inclusive and diverse, providing a platform for all stakeholders to come together and work towards a common goal.

He added that this project is a crucial aspect of MOSOP’s advocacy efforts, and as such, it is incumbent upon MOSOP leaders to ensure its successful implementation.

He emphasized that MOSOP was crucial in bringing the HYPREP project to Ogoniland. Therefore, they are responsible for monitoring and evaluating the project’s progress, holding stakeholders accountable, and alerting the federal government to any issues hindering its success, ensuring that it meets its intended goals and expectations.

He appreciated students and urged them to pay attention and ensure they benefited from the programme at the end of the training.

As the facilitator, Mr. Delasi Amable, an independent consultant, and expert in program development, monitoring, evaluation, water sanitation, and natural resources governance, took the participants on very impactful topics like mind mapping, context analysis, Linking the proposal with a logical framework matrix, and project/program proposal vs. Academic proposal.

In an interview with a pressman, he stated, “There are lots of opportunities out there to develop program proposals and all that, so we expect that from here, they have the basic idea and begin to explore how to do it, why to do it, and why you can do it.”

This will, in turn, increase employability and, in turn, bring development to Ogoni land.

A recent graduate of plant science and Bio-technology participant said she sees the program as impactful and helpful, for it teaches how to channel project proposals. She is glad that she is a participant and thanked the organizers of this initiative.

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