FRIDAY, November 4, 2016, was like any other weekends to many people. But to the indigenes of Agu-Agamede Community in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State, it was a day that will remain green in their memories for a considerable long time. It was a day a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) called Development Education Centre (DEC) based in Enugu flagged off a Health Centre in the village.
MAKA NDIGBO which witnessed the flag-off ceremony, observed that as early 8 am on the said day, the villagers including school children, teachers, women and men had gathered at Ikpakpara the area marked for the erection of the health centre with drums and folk songs anxiously waiting for the arrival of the Executive Director of the Development Education Centre, Dr Cecilia Asogwa and her entourage.
To their great delight, Dr Asogwa arrived the venue with the State Commissioner for Local Government Matters, Honourble Chijioke Edeoga, Caretaker Committee of Chairman of the local government, Benjamin Edeoga and Igwe Augustine Odo the Omereoha 1 of Agu-Afamede Autonomous Community, among others.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr Asogwa went back memory lane, recalling that the journey to build a health centre for the people of Agu-Agamede-Ikpakpara was borne out of a genuine love for the mission DEC, Enugu, stressing that the focal point of her organization is to empower people in communities especially the active poor women through education on human rights, health, literacy, civic responsibilities and provision of access to financial services towards self reliance.
“We came to Agu-Agamede-Ikpakpara on the recommendation of the Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, Rt. Rev, Francis Okobo who asked that DEC should work with the people of Ikpakpara Agamede, Inyi, Enugu-Ezike, Opi-Agu and Agu-Ekwegbe. DEC worked so hard on theses community since 2009 in a bid to make significant en-route into theses remote communities”, she stated.
The equally delighted DEC boss further said, “I am so pleased that to be in your midst today after so many years of expectation and planning for today’s event to be a reality.The women working with DEC in this community have identify the need of a functional health facility as their most pressing need and having worked with this community, providing them with quality health services through DEC medical mission where our doctors and nurses conduct medical clinics quarterly since 2010 to date for sustainability of our efforts in this community, we have decided to respond to the dare need of the people because they are ready now to fulfill their own partnership agreement of working with DEC and DEC working for them”
Other Speakers including the State Commissioner for local government matters, Honourable Edeoga, commended Dr Asogwa for the pet-project, assuring her that the state government will continue to provide an enabling environment for non governmental organizations as well as other philanthropists embarking of such laudable programmes in the state.
According to the Contractor/President-General of the Agu-Agamede Town Union, Cyprian Odo, the six room building project which will gulp N5m is expected to be completed on or before June 30, this year, adding that while the community provides N1m as counterpart fund, the DEC which is the NGO powering the project will bring N4m to make up the total cost for the structure.
The Acting Principal of the Agamede Community Secondary, S. O Odo, also took the opportunity of the event to appeal to the state government to come to their aids, saying, deplorable roads, poor facilities had severely dwindled the progress of the school which among others, had led many teachers to seek transfer out from the community.
The high point of the occasion was the formal laying of foundation stone of the health centre by Dr Asogwa after cleansing of the parcel of land with holy water by the Parish Priest of St. Paul Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Ikemefuna Valentine.
Indeed, excitement in Agu-Agamede enclave knew no bound on the flag off day.