By Bariton Lezabbey
Representatives from the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) visited the Bodo Remediation and Revegetation Project area on Tuesday 22 February 2022. The visit was to witness the ongoing works on the Bodo Remediation and Revegetation Project.
Representatives of the Bodo Mediation Initiative (BMI) and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) highlighted to the visiting team the achievements the Project has made so far as well as the numerous challenges overcome to reach the heights attained. While conducting the NAPIMS delegates round the project site, the BMI Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Techniques (SCAT) Team leader Mr. Nicholas Story explained the rigors required to verify the completion of remediated areas, often involving long kilometer treks through soft mud.
In his statement, the NAPIMS representative, Mr. Akpan Nkereuwem, confirmed that they have been receiving reports on a weekly and bi-annual basis, and as the government agency overseeing Project financial support, “we felt it was important to come and see the extent to which the work has been done, and the people as well that are making it to happen with such enormous success recorded thus far. Our visit today was to come and authenticate and confirm that this work is actually on ground in light of the reports we have received, and to ascertain the value for the money that have been approved so far”. He further stated that “it was a wonderful experience touring around the perimeter of the Bodo Remediation and Revegetation Project area. We traversed the greater part of the area being remediated. We have also seen the mangroves planted in already remediated areas looking green and blossoming in their thousands – I had the privilege to plant one and hope when next we come, it will be well established”. In his final comments. He advised the Project to be more proactive in waste evacuation especially from the illegal refinery sites.
The tour also included selection and planting of mangrove seedlings adjacent to the area where the Dutch Embassy and UNEP delegates planted during their visits as previously reported. It is also worth noting that the active engagement of over 800 Bodo workers as well as Government Security Agencies has enabled the de-escalation of illegal oil activities within the Bodo creek. This has led to the sustained progress the Project has garnered since restarting in November 2020 after a cautionary 7-month Covid-19 break.
Thus far, 72 percent of the Project’s work area has been successfully remediated, with a total of 335,000 mangrove seedlings planted and restoration of overall mangrove ecosystem already evident.