Hundreds of youths in Lamu West have come out in droves to apply for the second phase Kazi Mtaani Initiative programme which will benefit 2,645 youths whose lives have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
Youths particularly from the tourism and fishing industries in Lamu have been harshly affected since the turn of the Covid-19 crisis with the Kazi Mtaani initiative set to give a new lease of life to vulnerable youths aged between 18-35 years of age.
Speaking to KNA in Langoni location, area chief Ali Haidar, expressed optimism over the impact of the initiative that is likely to steer youths away from crime and substance abuse during the Covid-19 period.
He stated that he had been impressed particularly by women who had applied in large numbers to be considered for the programme in which the youths will carry out road works, sanitation and beach cleaning exercises within the county.
Lamu Deputy County Commissioner Louis Ronoh said that the exercise would be free and fair and devoid of political interference.
“We would like to tell the youths who have applied for the programme that they will be considered and that there is no prejudice in the exercise being carried out by the chief,” Ronoh said.
The youths can expect a Sh. 400 stipend that will be paid after every 11 days. The Kazi Mtaani initiative is expected to kick off officially on Monday next week with recruitment already on going.
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia on his part said that the Kazi Mtaani initiative is part in the sum of the national government’s plans to uplift vulnerable persons through the COVID-19 crisis period.
“Other groups such as the Old persons and persons living with disability will also benefit from a national government stipend to see them through this crisis period,” Macharia said.
He said that the programme had been launched equitably between Lamu East and Lamu West and assured that no groups that qualify for government support initiatives would be marginalized.
“I would urge the youths to make use of the fund they get from the initiative and save to open up small businesses through which they can become gainfully self-employed,” he said.
The Kazi Mtaani initiative is expected to benefit at least 250,000 youths nationally, and will run for six months.
By Amenya Ochieng