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Re-Introduce Kazi Mtaani Program, Government Urged

The youth in Migori County have pleaded with the government to re-introduce implementation of the once multi-billion National Hygiene Program popularly known as Kazi Mtaani to help boost their living standards.

They affirm that the program that gained popularity during the Jubilee regime enabled the country’s environment to be well protected besides offering the jobless youth a noble income.

This was a well thought out undertaking and should be given another chance to promote the face of the country and offer employment, said Migori County’s immediate past youth president Joseph Nyapete.

“We believe the Jubilee government ventured into this program as a pilot undertaking and should now be fully embraced by the Kenya Kwanza government as one of the cogs to help realize the dream of achieving the state’s legacy projects,” said Mr. Nyapete.

The Program came to an end in 2021 after engaging over 4,000 youth in Migori County alone in cleaning and clearing trenches and bushes, unblocking clogged sewerage lines in urban centers and planting trees in strategic public and private plots and, more so, working as interns in Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

At the time, the regime advised the youth who had been engaged in the program to go back to their former places of work, announcing the end of the program to the chagrin of the beneficiaries.

But speaking in Migori town on Thursday, Mr. Nyapete who was flanked by hundreds of the local youth praised the program even as he pleaded for its re-implementation for another cycle of intensive work.

The group noted that the much-talked program came as a God-Send relief opportunity at a time when COVID-19 had ravaged the country’s labor sector by sending hundreds of people out of employment.

Many of the youth who plunged into the program became their families’ breadwinners as they could find good monies to buy food and clothes and sought health services for their helpless fathers, mothers, and siblings dogged by increased poverty during the coronavirus pandemic period.

Mr. Thomas Gumbo, a retired career civil servant said the Kazi Mtaani program had become a noble initiative by the state that would be remembered as an undertaking to have both benefited the government and the people at the grassroots during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee’s rule.

Corruption notwithstanding, Gumbo confirmed that the results of the program had been much glaring even to the notorious state critics because of the sanitation status of towns and markets and, the good earnings offered to the recruited youths.

A stroll within Migori town during the time of the implementation of the program gave anybody a sense of a clear change of environment more so to people who may have earlier on interacted with putrid scattered garbage all over the town center, declared Mr. Nyapete.

“If you visited any government office that time in Migori, Rongo, or any other town you were guaranteed to walk into the clean compound with neat fences and well-flowered walkways, all as a result of the Kazi Mtaani Program,” he claimed.

Collins Owino, one youth who participated in the program as a road engineer intern outlined the benefits he got in terms of skills besides the earnings he got from the work he did during the period.

Owini who was placed at the County Government’s roads section says he was able to gain new practical skills that he never thought of getting after he left university and became a jobless person in the streets for a couple of years

“I pray that more of such programs should be rolled out by the current government to help offer job opportunities to the youth and help others gain experience in their line of education,” he told this writer recently

County Housing Director who led the implementation of the program in Migori, Ms Linet Nyakiti also confirmed the importance of the program.

“Kazi Mtaani program did a lot in this area, especially to the County Government Cleaning department and even to the water department that had several of the recruits posted to work in their areas,” she noted.

The program also saw tree seedlings planted in schools and in open government lands among other benefits, she stated.

By George Agimba

 

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