The programme, which attracted youths from Ogoni communities’ four local government areas of Tai, Khana, Gokana and Eleme, took place at First Eleme Millennium Hotel in Rivers State.
A Canadian oil spill expert Lawrence Neufeld said the best way to avoid critical future health challenge is to avoid contaminated water sources and stop consumption of seafood.
He said there is usually an oil spill in every oil producing area, including Canada, adding that there is need for emergency remedy, besides Federal Government’s implementation of Ogoni clean-up.
Neufeld said: “You must be trained to understand your environment. But some of the community members are at risk. This is because even as survey has shown that the environments they are living in are polluted, they still live there.
“The government of Nigeria should help them out. They are poor. So, they continue searching for food in the river and drinking contaminated water. If they are healthy today, the future of their children is at risk. They should stop eating sea foods.”
Another speaker, Dr Babatunde Benard Bolaji, who called for the provision of potable water and health facilities in the affected rural communities, said the training was meant to expose Ogoni youths to the technicalities involved in the clean-up.
He said: “It is a sensitisation programme for the forthcoming spill clean-up in Ogoni land. The programme is tailored towards sensitising youths and preparing their minds so that they can be involved technically and professionally when the process starts.
“When a thing like this arises, individual interests always come to play. People will want to corner contractors or, if they want to employ people, they bring any type of person for the sake of the money.