Gets a plot of land in the community and a chieftaincy title of Sarkin Noma II of Dafara
A member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Friday Okolie has lifted the spirits of rural dwellers in Dafara, Kuje council of the Federal Capital Territory by providing them with water.
The corps member who served with the Nigerian Air Force, took it upon himself to provide Dafara with borehole water as part of his Community Development Service (CDS) Project. He got help from well-meaning people but the whole idea was his.
The project started after he heard that the community was facing severe water shortages.
During a chat with The Nation’s Grace Obike, Okolie said that: “The project was informed by the medical outreach embarked upon by my colleagues to the community which exposed their lack of potable drinking water and other social amenities. Prior to the project, the major source of their water supply was local wells and stream which led to the death of many through polio, cholera, fever and other water related diseases. I also donated generator to them to enable them pump the water”.
In appreciation, the community did not only welcome the Corps member as one of theirs but gave him a plot of land in the community and a chieftaincy title of Sarkin Noma II of Dafara.
Okolie shed more light on his work, saying, “This project was initiated the day Corps members serving with the Nigerian Air Force Hospital came back from a free medical outreach and narrated the nature of the community they visited and the urgency required to provide for them more medical and other facilities. I henceforth decided to visit some communities in Kuje to know how I could help in my own [way] to provide for them whatever they needed most through NYSC platform.
“When I got to this Dafara community and after much observation and assessment of their challenges including lack of healthcare facilities, schools, good drinking water and good road, among others, I discovered that their most pressing need begging for urgent help is potable water which has been their major predicament for years.”
He said the community chief, Joseph Makeri, explained that the Millennium Development Goal’s (MDG’s) borehole they depended on has collapsed and stopped working for years and since then, they depend on their local wells and stream for water.
‘’To my total dismay, many have died of polio, cholera, fever and other water diseases in this community as a result of lack of good drinking water.”
The Corps member who mobilised human, material and financial resources provided the community with a borehole, an overhead tank stand, water tank and generator, challenged fellow corps members to take advantage of every opportunity to initiate positive ideas geared towards impacting and contributing to the society during their service year.
He said, “For those calling for the scrapping of NYSC, I appeal for a rethink, instead of scraping NYSC, lets suggest good ideas and policies that will move the organisation forward.
“To my fellow corps members, as we obey the clarion call and lift our nation high under the sun or in the rain with dedication and selflessness let us not forget to initiate positive ideas that are geared towards impacting and contributing to the society. I urge you to be leaders anywhere you find yourself and also have the courage to dare things that may seem impossible. At first, you may fail or get defeated but you may also succeed. I could remember I told one of my friends of this idea and his response was “you, can you dig a well”? The thought of the fact that I am a corps member gave me self-confidence and the courage that made it a success. However, I must confess that was tasking but the fact remains that every success has its own challenges.
“The place of my primary Assignment – Nigerian Airforce and its regimental ways doing things thought me a lot of knowledge and enormous experience which will forever remain to pave ways for me.”
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