By Bariton Lezabbey
The Bodo Mediation Initiative (BMI) held its quarterly Technical Working Group 1 meeting on Friday, 17th September 2021, during which participants made key resolutions and proffered technical solutions for the advancement of the Bodo Remediation Project.
TWG1 meetings focus on advancing the cleanup of Bodo creeks and developing a framework under which the remedial effort can proceed to finalization, in cooperation with Government Regulatory Agencies, the Bodo Community and other key stakeholders.
The BMI Project Director informed participants that recently obtained chemical analyses all had values within government approved levels so that 61 of 363 Grid work areas now have passed regulatory requirements for field observations using the Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) and stringent chemical testing. This is very good news and includes all 146 Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) analytical results to date. He further highlighted that the number of experimental mangrove seedlings planted have increased to over 132,000 covering 59 ha. This commendable effort is no mean feat and requires protection from all parties to ensure its long-term sustainability.
The Bodo Community representative acknowledged the effort and resolve of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) for its continuing support of the Project to the betterment of the Bodo Community. He noted that the Community is very receptive to the work accomplished and supports the determination of SPDC and the BMI to ensure success which will also serve as a positive reference for others in the Niger Delta.
Participants at the meeting included representatives from the Bodo Contact Committee (BCC) for the Bodo Community, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), National Oil Spill Detection & Response Agency (NOSDRA), Rivers State Ministry of Environment (RSMENV), BMI, SPDC, Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) and spill response contractors.