Plans are underway to support more than 500,000 youth in Busia County pending approval of the eight project proposals presented to the World Bank through Kenya Climate Smart Agricultural Project.
Speaking to the press at Busia Agricultural Training Centre on Tuesday, a representative of Kenya Climate Smart Agricultural Project James Singe said that the secretariat has begun the process of verifying and appraising various projects being implemented by the County to be supported by the organization.
“The programme dubbed ‘Jobless lives’ matter’ has presented eight proposals and we shall have a chance to look at them and assess the available windows in terms of what the project can support,’ he said adding that the proposals fall under County level investment categories.
He stated that the proposals, which target 595,000 youth, would attract a budget of close to Sh1.3 billion.
“We find this programme very responsive in addressing the needs of the youth who are in dire need of empowerment,” he said adding that the proposals ranged between Sh100 and 150 million.
Singe disclosed that the project is operating in 24 counties and their aim is to appraise and establish the viability of the proposals.
“The output of this exercise shall be to generate a report which will be submitted to the National technical committee,” he said adding that it would take two months for the youth to know the fate of their proposals.
He urged the County government to provide their comments based on the protocols for funding of the project.
Busia Chief Officer for Agriculture Richard Achiambo said that the eight proposals ranged from fisheries, establishment of an innovation centre for the jobless youth, incubation centre, improvement of slaughterhouse and construction of a modern market for poultry farmers, construction of Simba chai factory.
“All the proposals are valid but we shall have to realign them,’ he said expressing confidence that they would create employment for the youth.
He pointed out that Busia has been among the top five out of the 24 counties where the project is being implemented and has been used as a forum for benchmarking.
“We started with aqua culture with more than 100 fish ponds in Samia, establishment of a fish hatchery at Wakhungu and feeds production at Nasewa,” he said.
Pius Okwaro, the Secretary to the group said that the County had a great challenge of unemployment especially among the youth.
Okwaro said that lack of employment has driven a number of youth into crime and drug addiction hence the need to empower them.
“All the 35 wards have been affected and we are expecting that at least 2,000 youth from each ward will be empowered,” he said.
He explained that the group had presented eight proposals to the County Government ranging from intensive poultry farming, networking in transportation, textile industry and horticulture among others.
Busia Cross border fish traders chairman Francis Akech appreciated the World Bank for establishing a fish market for his group.
The market funded by the World Bank at a cost of Sh60 million is almost complete and would serve 600 fish traders.
“Jobless’ is a group of youth within Marachi estate which has for a long time been known for engaging in criminal activities.
By Salome Alwanda