For the people of Umuokereke, Umuegengwu Umuoma, Uli, in Ihiala Local Government Area (LGA) in Anambra State, the year 2016 ushered in a new dawn.
After 18 years of living in darkness, the community got electricity, courtesy of the youths of the community, under the aegis of Umuokereke Global Youth Movement, led by Prince Maxwell Chukwunyerenwa.
The youths, who came home from different parts of the country and abroad to celebrate the Youth Week also embarked on a beautification exercise by clearing the environment of refuse and trees that encroached into the road. They is as they also made plans for the future development of the town.
Prince Chukwunyerenwa, the Managing Director of Ochendo Business Associates said in Lagos, that the youths decided to carry out the electricity project because the condition of their town had become an embarrassment to them. He added that the electricity to the town collapsed 18 years ago and that the government had not restored it, hence their decision to resort to self help.
“Through our voluntary efforts, the youths resolved to do this project through self-help effort. The members did not levy themselves. Rather, people made donations according to what they could afford. People donated cables, electric poles and money to ensure that we did the project. At first some people thought we could not do it. But when they saw our seriousness, they have to join us,” he said.
In addition to the just concluded electricity project, Chukwunyerenwa said the Youth Movement will also construct water boreholes at strategic locations in the community and also rehabilitate their roads and tar them.
These projects, he informed, will cost the association N5.5 million and above and will be completed during the youth week in January next year.
Prince Chukwunyerenwa, while thanking the youths and the association’s executive for their cooperation to bring the electricity project a reality, sought their cooperation once more to carry out the water and road project.
He said: “Our aim is to make our people happy and for our community to be like others. For several years we have been in darkness, but today we have light. I also commend the support of the Umuada (daughters) of the community and our able patron, Sir Josephat Chukwunyerenwa, the Alaachuenyioso Nwajunkeya 1 of Uli for his support. We shall be approaching them again for the water and road project and I believe, they will not let us down.”
He called for the continued unity of the youths, women and elders of the community for the community to move forward, hoping that one day, when the state government sees the people’s self-help efforts, it will put the community in its development plan.
Prince Chukwunyerenwa also commended Governor Willie Obiano for his development strides in parts of the state, but called on him to ensure that the withdrawn courses at the Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli, are restored to make the institution more interesting and exciting to the students.