A fresh bid to select contractors to provide portable water in oil spill impacted Ogoni communities in Rivers State was opened on Wednesday by the Federal Government
Project Coordinator, Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr Marvin Dekil, said at the opening of the bid in Port Harcourt that the project was an initiative of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on Ogoniland.
UNEP had in 2011 recommended the provision of running water for Ogoni communities whose underground water got polluted by decades-long oil spills.
Dekil said HYPREP, under the Federal Ministry of Environment, would coordinate the water projects in Eleme, Gokana, Khana and Tai areas covering Ogoniland to ensure early completion.
“So, today we are opening bids for six lots to six competent companies to provide portable water to various locations in the four local government areas of Ogoniland. We are optimistic that we will secure contractors that will immediately be mobilized to sites within the next three to five weeks. The water project will be done simultaneously with remediation works currently ongoing in 57 sites spread across the areas”.
Dekil said no fewer than 40 companies had submitted their expression of interest to participate in the bidding for the project, noting that the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Abubakar and HYPREP had agreed to spread the project to communities not directly impacted by oil spillage.
“In addition, the water that we are going to provide in Ogoni communities will meet the United Nations and World Health Organisation standards. Ogali, Kpean, Nsisioken, Korokoro, K-Dere and B-Dere communities in Ogoni are the communities that UNEP identified for the water projects.
So, 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. At the end, we will have a central borehole from which water will be reticulated to the impacted communities and many others our budget can carry”.
He assured the bidding process would be done in line with guidelines of the procurement act with collaboration from Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources, adding that the exercise will adhere strictly to protocols on COVID-19 to safeguard participants.