At least 17 youth groups are set to receive grants worth Sh5 million this week from an economic recovery project by the government to cushion them against the effect of Covid-19 and drought in Kilifi.
The project which is funded by the Japanese government through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was implemented by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) aimed at stabilization and recovery of communities affected by violent extremism, conflicts and disasters in Kenya.
During preparation of the distribution exercise at NDMA offices in Kilifi, County Drought Information Officer Caroline Ayienda said they will visit Ganze, Malindi, Kaloleni, Adu and other parts of the county to give out the equipment and items to the beneficiaries.
Among the groups that will receive the grants are Shenaz Youth Group doing movie production, Zola Youth Group involved in irrigation, Tosha Youth Group engaged in shoe making business, Kilifi Special Needs Youth Group doing chicken farming, Roka Fishermen Self Help Group engaged in fishing among others groups doing similar businesses. “We have groups who propose to do chicken farming of broilers and those who want to do indigenous chicken. We have another group in Garashi, they have access to the river. They want to do irrigation so they are going to get irrigation equipment; water pump and pipes,” she said.
She added that the support is key to the revival of the economy and a great relief to the youth of Kilifi who are not only affected by Covid-19 but also drought.
Ayienda said the government and its partners are giving tremendous support to the vulnerable groups in Kilifi County and that what is needed now is sensitization of individuals so that they can join groups and attract the support given by the government and partners.
“Most of the partners are not ready to support individuals but support groups so that by the end of the day the impact is felt towards many households,” she explained.
However, out of the groups that will benefit from the project, only one comprises members living with disabilities.
According to Director of Youth Mombasa County Charles Ayako who evaluated the groups’ qualifications, he found only one group in their database therefore calling for deliberate effort to reach out to the disabled and tell them to form groups so that they can benefit from the future funding.
“We will also work closely with the relevant departments dealing with people with disabilities so that we know the number of groups they have in their database then from there we sensitize these groups and tell them about these opportunities in the government”, he said.
The distribution exercise is expected to be completed on Friday this week. NDMA through the funding by government and its partners has supported many groups in Kilifi since 2016 in strengthening the resilience of youth through skills and alternative livelihood systems.
By Jackson Msanzu