Ode to Ugwuanyi and his Enugu clean team project
By Dr. Dons Eze
Last Saturday, along the ever-winding almost five kilometers Enugu Milliken Hill Road, I observed hundreds of young men and women fully kitted in green overall garments, massed on both sides of the road, weeding and clearing weeds and shrubs, cleaning the gutters, and at the same time, sweeping the entire place. By the time I drove back around eleven o’clock in the morning, the whole area was glittering.
Before that day, I equally had observed these young men and women on top of the Akwatta Hill, this time, not using hoes, shovels and cutlasses to mow or cut down grasses, or using brooms to sweep, but using their bare hands and finger tips to pick up little grasses that were growing between the tiled Hill.
At different parts of Enugu Coal City, each time I came out in the morning, I usually see these green kitted young men and women, busily weeding and sweeping major streets and cleaning gutters in the Coal City.
This has brought sanity and much relief to many residents of Enugu who happily enjoy the growing cleanliness of the town, together with the gradual disappearance of mountains of refuse in different parts of Enugu.
The Enugu Clean Team Project (ECTP), which is the initiative of Governor Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, is aimed at making Enugu Coal City clean and beautiful, which will ultimately lead to healthy living of residents of the state.
With Reverend Father Michael Ogbu as Coordinator, the Enugu Clean Team Project, since its creation, has relentlessly strived to make the Enugu environment one of the most beautiful cities in the country.
The Clean Team Project which started with an initial 1,000 youths who were holders of at least a school certificate, was later increased to additional 1,000 employees, is not limited to cleaning Enugu Coal City, but equally covers the towns of Nsukka, Oji River, Awgu and the Ninth Mile Corner.
Initially some youths were reluctant joining the project, but according to the coordinator of the project, Rev. Fr. Ogbu, “after our announcement for recruitment of additional 1,000 staff, more than 20,000 persons applied with at least a school certificate.
“I can recall vividly that when we started the Enugu Clean Team Project, young people were reluctant to come for employment for the initial 1,000 workers in the project, but now the story has changed,’’ he explained.
Rev. Fr. Ogbu also re-affirmed his commitment to fulfil the purpose for which the initiative was thought up, which is to make the coal city the cleanest city in Nigeria.
“ECTP management has put machinery in motion to ensure that Enugu State and Enugu city becomes the cleanest state and city in the country within the shortest possible time”, he stated.
The coordinator however urged drivers and motorists against reckless driving as some of the staff of the ‘project’ were always on duty in the early hours of the day.
He also pleaded with residents of the state to make the job easier for the these workers by desisting from indiscriminate disposal of refuse,
explaining that part of the reasons why the governor established the organization was to provide employment to young people and discourage them from going into crime in addition to keeping the environment clean.
The ECTP Project covers road and street sweeping, drainage clearing and de-silting, green verge areas and trimming trees, as well as maintenance of ornamental flowers and parks within the state