1000 youth have been hired for the national hygiene programme in Kwale County to cushion them during the coronavirus pandemic.
The national programme is being rolled out simultaneously in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kwale, Kilifi and Mandera counties which have been identified as coronavirus hotspots.
The youth programme dubbed ‘Kazi Mtaani’ will roll out proper health standards and protocols under the supervision of public health officials to limit the risk of infection of the deadly covid-19 disease.
750 of them will be deployed in Msambweni Sub County while the remaining 250 will be working in Matuga Sub County.
The County Commissioner (CC), Karuku Ngumo said the activities the labourers would undertake include street cleaning services, fumigation and disinfection services, garbage collection, bush clearing and de-silting of choked gutters among others.
The administrator on Thursday said the activities in the informal settlements were aimed at getting rid of filth and prevent coronavirus outbreak in vulnerable areas.
He said Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) would be the implementing agencies for the youth empowerment activities for the next 30 days.
The CC said the programme being rolled out would ensure that youth who form the bulk of the population do not remain in the periphery of community affairs as their energy and exuberance was needed now more than ever in the face of the covid-19 pandemic.
The Msambweni Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Erick Wamulevu welcomed the campaign to engage young people saying many youth were idle and involving themselves in criminal activities.
“For example, in Msambweni, we have seen a surge in criminal activities for the past two months since many young people found themselves jobless after they were laid off from tourist hotels,” he said.
“The problem of joblessness culminated in youth engaging in crime and a situation of hopelessness,” he added.
Wamulevu said majority of hospitality workers in the region were laid off especially those in tourist hotels in Diani due to the coronavirus lockdown.
He said apart from involving the youth in efforts to fight back the pandemic, the initiative was an engaging way to raise awareness and connect young people to the environment.
President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the two-pronged National Hygiene Programme in an address to the nation on Saturday, April 25, saying it would create jobs for the youth and safeguard the environment.
The President said in the first phase of the programme, 26, 000 youth would be engaged in the eight frontline counties with a target of 100,000 nationally over time.
By Hussein Abdullahi