The federal government has opened a fresh bid to select contractors to provide portable water in oil spill impacted Ogoni communities in Rivers State.
The Project Coordinator, Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr Marvin Dekil, said this at the opening of the bid in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, added that the project was the initiative of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on Ogoniland.
The UNEP in 2011 recommended the provision of running water for Ogoni communities whose underground water got polluted by decades-long oil spills.
Marvin said that 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.
“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 mobilised to sites within the next three to five weeks,” he added.
“The water project will be done simultaneously with remediation works currently ongoing in 57 sites spread across the areas,” he said.
Marvin said that no fewer than 40 companies had submitted their expression of interest to participate in the bidding for the project.
He said 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.
“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.
“In 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 added.
The project coordinator assured that the bidding process would be done in line with the guidelines of the procurement act with collaboration from Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources.
According to him, the exercise will adhere strictly to protocols on Coronavirus (COVID-19) to safeguard participants.