Damaturu — With diggers and shovels three members of the National Youth Service Corps serving in Yobe state are defying the scorching sun of Damaturu to clear clogged drainages in the metropolis.
What started as just a one day activity to mark his birthday has turned into a daily affair for Tarzoho Paul and his two other colleagues, who joined him later, to the admiration of the residents.
According to 27-year-old Paul, who serves with the Federal Polytechnic Damaturu, this is also part of his mandatory community service.
When our correspondent caught up with them, the corps members were busy clearing debris from drainage beside ECWA Church in Jerusalem Area of Damaturu.
He said his aim was to ensure good environmental hygiene within the metropolis and its environs.
According to him he carefully looked around and observed that the drainage was filled up with debris which could lead to environmental pollution.
"When I came to Yobe state I saw a lot of infrastructural developments like good roads, but the gutters were so unkempt. So I felt challenged to start the work though it was a difficult one. I never knew that I will come to this extent but God motivated me to just do it and before I knew other people have started joining me. The work is ongoing at Sabon Fegi area in Damaturu.
"I have also liaised with the Ministry of Environment and they agreed to assist us with truck that would evacuate the debris that we cleared from the drainages," he added.
He said they have so far cleared about 1.5 kilometre long drainage.
One of the corps members working with him, Uche Jane Egbuemike, said she was inspired to join him because she believed in serving humanity.
She urged Nigerians to always be engaged in activities that would keep our environment clean.
Richard Oladayo , another corps member, who serves at Yobe State University said: "I saw my friend doing this and by seeing his will power to render such service to the community, I just thought it would be good to support him. Voluntary work attracts more honor, I believe that we can make our environment clean ourselves".
The corps members advised Damaturu residents to shun the habit of turning drainages into refuse dumps in order to avoid environmental pollution and flooding.
They also urged other people, especially the youths, to join them in the work, as it would also help in keeping the environment from mosquitoes that cause malaria.
The action of the corps members is already receiving praises from the residents of the communities.
Bakari Adamu Malgwi a Principal Lecturer with Federal Polytechnic Damaturu said: "When I saw Paul doing this work I asked him instantly if there is any other support he needed to continue, he told me that if he could have some slabs that could cover the culvert it would prevent dirt from coming in.
"I decided to contribute in constructing the slabs and the few I had done cost me about N80,000. I also asked some people to park the debris and fill up some sinkholes in the area."
He appealed to people especially younger ones to emulate Paul and his colleagues.
Similarly, Principal Yobe Scholars Academy which is situated in New Jerusalem, said he was pleased with what the corps members are doing.
The principal said he already warned his students to stop dumping refuse in the gutters.
"I saw him doing it and I said this is the real service to fatherland. I will make sure I encourage him with the little I can before the end of today," he said.