Job Opening

Posting Title: Technical Assistant
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Posting Period: 18 March 2019 - 02 April 2019
Job Opening Number: 19-United Nations Environment Programme-113758-Individual Contractor
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The Technical Assistant will assist in facilitating UNEP’s technical activities, related to contaminated land and field sampling, and support the Chief Technical Advisor and UNEP’s team based in the office in Port Harcourt with technical activities.

Work Location

Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Expected duration

Initial appointment of 7 months (1 April – 30 November), with possibility of extension.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (known as UN Environment or UNEP) is the United Nations system-designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.

The Crisis Management Branch delivers high quality environmental expertise to national governments and partners in the UN family. Field based assessments of the environmental impact of crises form the core of UN Environment's conflict and disaster management operations. However, as the international community has shifted its focus from post-crisis intervention to crisis prevention, the branch has also expanded its operational range, adding disaster risk reduction and environmental cooperation for peacebuilding to its core services of post-crisis environmental assessment and recovery.

The region of Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, has suffered from widespread environmental contamination due to oil production during several decades. UN Environment assessed the extent and severity of the hydrocarbon contamination in a report published in 2011: soil, sediments, groundwater, surface water, mangroves, and swaps ecosystems were particularly affected, and alarming public health impacts on the population were highlighted. UN Environment evaluated that ecosystems remediation could take up to 30 years, and estimated the costs of ecosystem remediation to up to USD 1 billion for the first 5 years of activities.

The Federal State of Nigeria has committed to follow UN Environment’s recommendations, by creating the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), a dedicated institution to undertake the clean-up process under the Federal Ministry of Environment. UN Environment is proposing a project which will assist HYPREP and its Governing Council to discharge their responsibilities better.

The project is designed in response to a request from the Government and the agreement has already been signed with the Government of Nigeria. This project comes as an integral part of UN Environment’s continuing support to the Government of Nigeria to clean up the environmental contamination in Nigeria and achieve lasting peace in the region. While this current project is for a duration of one year, it is clear that UN Environment’s technical support to Government of Nigeria will continue until the implementation of the original UN Environment report is completed.

To support this work, UNEP is seeking a Technical Assistant to work in the UNEP Office being set up in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The Terms of Reference for this position is given below.

Specific tasks and responsibilities

Assist the Chief Technical Advisor by undertaking the following tasks:

• Observing and making reports on technical staff and contractors undertaking field activities.
• When requested to, collect field samples, undertake all necessary preparatory work including calibration of analytical equipment, preparation of sampling equipment, preparation of reagents and sampling bottles
• When required, undertake field activities, including: sampling, surveying and documentation.
• Preparation of field samples for laboratory analyses.
• Take detailed notes on all the work undertaken in the field and office and compile weekly reports.
• Participate in, and provide facilitation support to, training initiatives for HYPREP staff.
• When required, assist in the management of the Project Office in PHC.

Qualifications/special skills

Ability to communicate clearly, in writing and oral, in English
Physical fitness, to undertake strenuous field-work often under challenging conditions.

Academic Qualifications: A masters degree preferably in geology, hydrogeology or chemistry.

Experience: A minimum of five years of work experience in similar projects, preferably within the Niger Delta.

Language: English is the working languages of the Project Office in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
The ability to speak one, or more, of the four Ogoni languages is an advantage.

No Fee


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