At least 3,700 youth in Turkana County are set to be enlisted with the kazi mtaani programme which was launched in Lodwar town last Monday.
Eligible youth were invited to make their applications during the launch presided over by Turkana central Deputy county commissioner Alexander Mativo, Lodwar municipality manager, Esther Kiong’a and county housing officer, Joseph Odudhula at Moi garden’s stadium in Lodwar.
Mativo said the municipality was lucky to benefit under phase two of the kazi mtaani programme.
He said 3,657 youth and 122 supervisors will be involved in the six and a half months project.
Mativo added that most of the youth come from informal settlements with the the municipality which has been divided into ten settlements.
“The works will include opening sewer systems, beautification of Lodwar town, tree planting, construction of an aboretum and clearing bushes infested by Mathenge tree which have turned to be hideouts for thugs where cases of rape and mugging have been reported.
Due to Covid 19 we shall ensure they wear facemasks and observe social distancing, he said.
According to Kiong’a who is the Lodwar municipality manager 10 informal settlements have been earmarked for various projects.
Among the villages that will benefit are Kanamkemer, Soweto, Napetet, IDP Canaan.
“We used the nyumba Kumi initiative to ensure the most vulnerable benefit from the project because the elders are the ones who know the residents best,” she said.
The county government will support the national government by providing heavy machinery and other equipment that may be lacking.
There are plans to plant trees as well in collaboration with Kenya Forest research institute.
CEC infrastructure, Lands, Water, Environment, Agriculture will also be involved.
“We want our people to own the projects to ensure they are sustainable,” she added.
The technical team is co chaired by county commissioner Muthama Wambua and county secretary Peter Eripete.
She said the MPs and MCAs will also be brought on board.
According to one of the beneficiaries of the project Veronica Ekaale who is a supervisor in Lodwar township, the programme will help students who are not in school to support their parents and avoid being idle.
“This program will also enable us to earn a living and support our parents,” she said.
On his part county national youth council chairman Paul Jaling’a commended the national government for the project saying it would not only improve livelihoods of the youth but also beautify the municipality.
“We urge other non-governmental organizations working in Turkana county to engage the youth in their projects,” said Jaling’a.
By Peter Gitonga