On Monday, November 11, 2019, the Phase 2 Bodo cleanup and restoration project was officially launched as the Paramount ruler, His Royal Highness (HRH) King John B. Berebon and the leadership of the Bodo community (Menebon in council) commissioned the project with a traditional blessing. The Bodo Mediation Initiative (BMI) was able to provide a mediation process to enable the Project to begin and complement the four oil spill response contractors selected to perform the works for providing competency training and testing in accordance with international best practice.
The Paramount Ruler, while addressing the press and Bodo workers, expressed joy over the commencement of the Phase 2 cleanup project and urged the Bodo community members to be law-abiding and to own the Project as it will assist the economic well being of the community as well as revive the mangrove ecosystem upon which Bodo largely depends on for their livelihood. He further advised the remediation contractors to do their job in ensuring the cleanup project is done in accordance with prescribed guidelines and should communicate with community leaders and the Bodo Contact Committee (BCC) to address issues on the project at the community level.
The BMI Chairman, Mr. Inemo Samiama, reiterated that the mediation process that started six (6) years ago by the Dutch Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, though challenging, has yielded many results including commissioning of the Phase 2 cleanup project. He stated that he was pleased the Bodo cleanup project has progressed to the remediation and restoration phase with a considerable number of workers from the community which will have a positive local impact.
Over 800 community workers who have successfully undergone IMO (International Marine Organization) spill response and management training levels 1 and 2 respectively, were fully kitted in their personal protecting equipment (PPE) and ready to work.
The event had in attendance the Paramount Ruler of Bodo HRH King John B. Berebon, Deputy Paramount Ruler Chief Monday Koottee (Labon Bodo), the Council of Chiefs and Elders, the Chairman of BCC Dr. Gabriel Pidomson, Mr. Inemo Samiama the BMI Chairman, Shell Petroleum Development Company representatives, various organs of governance in the community, and the remediation contractors with several advisors from international oil spill response companies.
The community workers were enthusiastic that the Phase 2 Bodo cleanup project has finally begun.
In 2013 the former Dutch Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Bert Ronhaar, took a personal interest in the Bodo case and he sought to assist in bringing about the clean-up, remediation, and restoration of oil impacted sites in Bodo. His consultation with the Nigerian government, SPDC, and the Bodo community led to the establishment of the Bodo Mediation Initiative (BMI) which was set up to oversee and mediate throughout the clean-up project.
For more information on the phase 2 Bodo Clean-up/Mediation Initiative. Please contact:
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