Community Champion: Cleaning Up Kaduna Amidst Fear Of Boko Haram

Kaduna is one of the well-known states in Northern Nigeria. It is also affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. Many of the citizens in this region live in fear; some uneducated parents have stopped their children from going to school because of bomb explosions by the Islamic sect.

In spite of the fear and high risk of living in Kaduna, 17 Yearsold Asma’u Aremu, is passionately taking the lead in cleaning and changing her community. She says she is determined to live above the fear clouding her state.

“I started having this dream of changing Kaduna while I was in [senior secondary class]” She said,  “we had this class on oil spillage and I thought that we’ve let our country bad.”

She went ahead and organized a sanitation group with her classmates. They joined the Kaduna sanitation group and since then she has been creating awareness for other young people in Kaduna to join the project. She said her principal had been supportive by providing them with the tools needed for the clean-up exercise.

“It has been very difficult to get the community to help us” Aremu says, “in the north we have alot of less privileged people…alot of people who do not think they have a future…they are just there to collect money from other people. With my initiatives I could encourage the less privilege to stand up for their rights.”

Asma’u says young people should start changing the environment from where they are. She said though many people are not from rich home but the society can be maintained by the equal contribution of everyone.

“You can’t do good stuff in a dirty environment. Nigeria is very beautiful. All we need is government to give us good support in cleaning the society.

She noted the need for government to enforce a law for both private and public transport vehicles to have dustbin so that no body will litter the streets.

Asma’u also commented on the Boko Haram insurgency. “When I was growing up I could stay outside my house with my family, but now I haven’t seen night in Kaduna because of the insecurity.”

“During the sanitation we have to get soldiers around. For the past one year soldiers have been helping us.”

Asma’u advised young people to have a positive view of Nigeria. “There is a tomorrow for Nigeria and I am always seeing it; there is something good about Nigeria, we have smart children, smart parents, even though many don’t have money.”

David Atilola is a Student-Journalist, with a keen interest in development journalism. He is presently studying Mass Communication at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. He is also a spoken word artist,who believes poetry is a tool to effect a positive social change in the society. David is a Social media enthusiast and writer, using his little voice to speak change to the lives of youths. Follow David on twitter @davidatilola