The government will inject Sh.87 million for Kazi Mtaani in Kitui to cushion 2, 743 most vulnerable citizens living in informal settlements from shocks occasioned by loss of livelihoods due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the National Hygiene Programme (NHP), dubbed Kazi Mtaani, the identified informal settlements include Mosquito, Majengo, Kalundu and Mjini in Kitui Town, whereas in Mwingi Town, the works will be done in Mavoko and Kyanika.
Speaking in Kitui on Monday after a multi-sectoral meeting to spearhead the programme, the Kitui County Commissioner (CC), John Ondego said that the conceptualized extended public works project is aimed at utilizing labour intensive approaches to create sustainable public goods in the urban development sector.
“Through this initiative, residents from these informal settlements will be recruited to undertake projects concentrated in and around informal settlements with the aim of improving the environment, service delivery infrastructure and providing income generation opportunities,’ said Ondego.
He said that the programme aims to provide a form of social protection for workers whose prospects for daily work was disrupted by the containment policies put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus in the country.
“In a nutshell, this initiative is structured as a local economic recovery strategy which aims to restore interrupted economic activities in informal settlements while creating a public good,’ said the administrator.
Ondego noted that the programme, besides creating employment opportunities among young people from the informal settlements, will help local suppliers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) such as gloves and gumboots access a ready market.
“The creation of public good such as garbage collection, opening up clogged drainages and clearing bushes will ensure we have cleaner environment while putting money in the pockets of the youth to fend for their families,’ said the County Commissioner.
Phase I of Kazi Mtaani was launched on April 29th, 2020 and ended on June 2nd, 2020 after a period of 22 days of work elapsed but was later extended to June 30, 2020 to allow planning for Phase II.
Ondego said in Phase II of Kazi Mtaani, the programme will run for six and half months from July 2020 where the youths will work in shifts for 11 days a month and receive a daily wage of Sh. 455 after every two weeks paid through the M-Pesa platform.
The Kitui County Housing Director, Samson Mutune said the Phase II programme will go beyond the routine service delivery model which focused on garbage collection, bush clearing among others and focus on longer term projects that will provide benefits to communities.
“Projects such as construction of access roads within informal settlements using cobblestones will be undertaken. Others will include upgrade of public sanitation facilities, construction of green spaces within the Kalundu River Ecosystem among others,’ said Mutune.
The Kitui County Government Secretary, Dr. Joshua Chepchieng’ noted that the County Government will provide input into priority projects, provide tools, materials and equipment as well as provide technical guidance for various activities.
“This collaboration between the two arms of government will ensure that there is continuity and sustainability, and will strengthen institutions mandated to provide urban service delivery,’ said Dr. Chepchieng’.
Approximately Sh.10 Billion has been earmarked for the Phase II programme, primarily providing wages for the 273, 067 recruited workers for a period of six and half months.
By Yobesh Onwong’a