The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Sh 120 million Future Bora (Bright Future) Initiative funded project, has taken shape with thousands of youth benefiting directly and indirectly.
The State Department of Youth Affairs technical team, inspected the progress of the projects to assess their impact on the groups deemed as vulnerable through wealth and job opportunities in the society.
Led by Secretary Administration, Mwongo Chimwaga, the team were exhilarated with the impact of the Kenya Youth Empowerment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP) funded projects, on the lives of vulnerable groups in Mombasa and other counties.
“We have identified four partners whom we are working with in implementing the Future Bora project. We are on a monitoring and evaluation tour to make an assessment of the projects. We are looking at how youths have been brought on board. The project is so far being implemented well and any arising challenges, we are looking for how best to solve them,” added Mwongo.
Speaking at Mwakirungu dumpsite in Mombasa County, Mwongo said KYEOP is impressed with the implementation of the project by Afya Research Africa, Hydroponics Africa Limited, Life In Abundance – Kenya and TakaTaka Solutions Limited.
The four, selected out over 339 applicants, to implement the Future Bora project, each received a grant funding of Sh 30 million, disbursed in milestone-based tranches and capacity-building support, to expand economic opportunities for vulnerable Kenyan youth.
Flanked by Coast Regional Coordinator for Youth Affairs in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Charles Ayeko, Mwongo said the four organizations were awarded the grant to implement projects that would provide multiple interventions that would expand economic opportunities, for vulnerable and under-served Kenyan youth, in counties of Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa, Nairobi, Kiambu, Narok and Kajiado counties.
They toured a waste management project operated by Taka Taka Solutions Limited and interacted with tens of single parents and youths enlisted into the projects.
The group collects trash from the dumpsite, sorting them into different items before selling to the organization, where an individual can earn up to Sh 20,000 per week, depending on his or her input.
After an extensive tour of the project, Mwongo hailed the success of the waste management project that has employed 250 individuals directly and over 1000 indirectly.
“We are visiting the Mwakirunge dumpsite. Taka Taka Solutions is one of the partners selected to implement this project. We are here to see the impact of the project it is undertaking in this area. It has so far employed 250 youth and over 1000 others operating around the dumpsite. The organization has also set up a kindergarten to hold the children while their mothers work in the dumpsite,” he added.
He said the organization has shown the right solution to the nagging waste management challenges around the country.
“Looking at waste management under Taka Taka Solutions, we find the challenge of waste management is broad and it is affecting the whole country. We are looking to see how this can be replicated in other counties. Seeing that it takes the bulk of youth into its implementation, then we can kill two birds with one stone. Managing waste and as well taking care of the bulk of the youthful population,” he observed.
The organization Director Norah Nyagah, told the youth affairs delegation that her organization aims to enlist more vulnerable groups living around Mwakirunge dumpsite into the project.
“We are working with different groups who supply us with different types of waste collected from the dumpsite. We train them how to separate the wastes into different components. We have cardboards, single use plastics and others. We buy materials in this buyback centre and sort them into different fractions, based on their quality, colour, type and density,” Nyagah added.
Taka Taka Solutions Limited, which also operated in Dandora and other dumpsites around the country, collect waste materials and sell them to recycling plants.
“It is in collaboration with the government, which we have managed to set up buyback centres in Mombasa, Kitengela, Dandora and Thika. This has created employment opportunities for over 1000 waste pickers, 80 per cent being youth and women due to their close proximity to the dumpsites and ease of obtaining waste materials from the waste pickers,” she added.
Future Bora is driven by the government under the five-year Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP), that has been capitalized with Sh15 billion ($141.7 million) from the World Bank.
The demographics covered by the Scheme include orphans, persons with disability, youth living in conflict prone areas, youth from vulnerable and marginalized communities, street youth and young single mothers.
The project will cover more than 280,000 youth between the ages of 18 to 29 years with some components extending the age up to 35 years.
Future Bora will support interventions that are tailored for local and highly specific needs of the most vulnerable youth. In addition, it aims to expand economic opportunities for the most vulnerable and under-served Kenyan youth.
By Galgalo Bocha