UNITAR Hosts Town Hall Meeting with Ogoni Stakeholders in Nigeria

4 February 2017, River State, Nigeria - On the 4th of February 2017, UNITAR hosted a town hall meeting with Ogoni stakeholders lunching the start of the Agribusiness Skill Training and Empowerment Programme for Ogoni Women as part of the Ogoni land clean-up and remediation programme. The town hall meeting held at the MOSOP Peace and Freedom Centre, Bori, Ogoni land, Rivers state, Nigeria.

In recognition that the rehabilitation of Ogoni land doesn’t end with an environmental clean-up plan but also includes a resuscitation and restoration of the livelihoods of the Ogoni people themselves, the Agribusiness Skill Training and Empowerment Programme for Ogoni Women is a relevant part of the Ogoni land clean-up and remediation implementation. The programme will address, within a very short term, the demand for sustainable Agriculture and Agribusiness as alternative sources of livelihood for women in communities adversely affected by environmental degradation from crude oil mining in Ogoni land. 

Ogoni women at UNITAR town hall meetingThe Training will be highly practical oriented and based on 80-20% ratio (practical-theoretical) with demonstration units to support the practical training. The Training will also have a business component and will look at the optimum input-output levels while a market oriented module will focus on business and entrepreneurial skills development of the participants.

The town hall meeting had in attendance the Minister of Environment Nigeria, Amina J. Mohammed, the Commissioner for Environment Rivers state, Roselyn Konya, the Director of HYPREP, MOSOP president, key stake holders, the Ogoni women and UNITAR Port Harcourt Project Office staff. The event featured an interactive session between the Ogoni women and the Minister of Environment, a presentation by UNITAR and a breakout session by the Ogoni women to outline areas of interest and define their expectations from the programme. The women were grouped into clusters and the consensus of each cluster collected by UNITAR for further deliberations with the programme implementation team.

During the course of the day, visits were made to prospective training farms and an inspection of the facilities was carried out to assess their suitability for the purpose of the programme. The Minister of Environment expressed satisfaction with the overall conditions of the prospective training facilities and was optimistic the initiative will prove beneficial to the Ogoni people.

Photo: Ogoni women at UNITAR town hall meeting