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County employs youth, women in community service

At least 3,000 residents of Kakamega draw salary from the county government coffers by serving in various roles in the communities as service men and women. This includes 1800 youth and 1200 women.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said during a breakfast meeting with stakeholders convened by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), that the county government spends Sh6 million every month in paying the group that cleans and beautifies Kakamega town and its environs calling for more partners to support the initiative to absorb more jobless youth.

Apart from the cleaners, other beneficiaries of the County Youth and Women Empowerment Program serve as security guards, taking care of county infrastructure projects, and those clearing the road sides as they are supervised by Sub County Administrators.

The County’s Chief Officer Social Services Development, Sports Youth, Women Empowerment and Culture, Dr Brendah Barasa, said the county government has also partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Youth Empowerment program, to empower them with technical skills so that they can start income generating activities.

As an ongoing effort to support youth development, Barasa noted that the county government has also partnered with Co-operative bank of Kenya and the Bodaboda Medical Ventures to register various groups of boda boda riders for a health insurance cover where they pay a subsidized amount of money to access healthcare services in case of accidents.

Speaking in Kakamega during the review of County Action Plan on Countering Violent Extremism, the Chief Officer in charge of Service Delivery, Dr Vitalis Were Masakhwe, said the county government has created youth friendly services to support the development of youth as a measure to curb the rising unemployment rates.

He said apart from being employed in community service, the youth are encouraged to enroll in various Technical Vocational Education and Training Centers (TVETs) to acquire skills that they can use to start income generating activities.

“We have a deficit in terms of various technical skills such as plumbing, electrical services, masonry, mechanics and these are the skills that young people can be employed in to be able to earn a living or they can start their own enterprises,” he noted.

He said even those in the bodaboda industry should not consider the industry as a panacea but enroll in training to get additional skills.

The chief officer noted the county government is now keen on enforcing the 30 per cent procurement rule for youth, women and people with disabilities to access government procurement opportunities.

“Every month, my office receives a report from each department on what opportunities are being given to young people through access to procurement opportunities,” he pointed out.

Dr Masakhwe noted the county is further investing in industrial development to open more avenues for job opportunities for the youth and its residents.

For instance, he said the ongoing construction of the Malava milk processing plant, tea factory in Shinyalu, the Waste Energy project in Mumias East and the Industrial Park in Mumias West working with the Economic Processing Zone (EPZ) will open more opportunities for the youth in the county.

The Chief Officer in Charge of Education, Doreen Amora said Kakamega County has 63 TVET centres spread across the county encouraging more youth to enroll.

She noted that currently the county has enrolled 10 539 trainees who are undertaking training in the available 15 trades.

The trades range from motor vehicle, beauty, air technology, different food technology among others.

She said the County Government allocates Sh15 000 for each trainee per year as capitation.

By Moses Wekesa

 

 

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