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Sanitisation programme progressing well in Kwale

The second phase of the National Hygiene Programme (NHP) popularly known as ‘Kazi Mtaani’ is progressing well in Kwale County.
Area County Commissioner (CC) Karuku Ngumo has attributed the success of the programme to the youth participation in the piloting phase of the project.
Ngumo who chairs the County Kazi Mtaani Implementation Committee said during the piloting phase in April, the programme employed 1,000 youth and despite various challenges, it was a success.
In the second phase in July the county has recruited 3,488 workers and 1,116 supervisors spread in all the four sub counties of Matuga, Msambweni, Lunga Lunga and Kinango.
The programme championed by the National Government was first rolled out in April in slums in Kiambu, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale, Nakuru, Mandera, Kilifi and Kisumu which were identified as coronavirus hotspots but was in July scaled up to include all the 47 counties.
The total amount that was disbursed to Kwale County during the first phase of the project was Sh24 million while in the second phase a total of Sh35 million has been disbursed through the payments that have been done by Safaricom.
“Approximately Sh60 million has been disbursed to Kwale County since the start of the programme in April this year,” he said.
In the 2020-2021 financial year the National Treasury has allocated Sh10 billion for the programme that also seeks to address the challenges of unemployment confronting young people.

Kwale youth engaged in various public works activities under the National Hygiene Programme dubbed ‘Kazi Mtaani.’

The various activities undertaken by the labourers include bush clearing, street cleaning, drainage unclogging, fumigation, garbage collection and disposal, tree planting among other public project works.
“As we progress with phase two, we intend to identify and work on projects with a long lasting impact,” he said when he briefed KNA on Sunday on the programme that seeks to economically empower jobless young people during the coronavirus pandemic.
The CC said the projects with lasting impacts to be rolled out included use of interlocking soil stabilized blocks to construct public toilets, classrooms, boundary walls among other projects and in collaboration with the benefiting public institutions.
Ngumo said other activities to be undertaken included landscaping of public institutions including schools, hospitals, public parks, opening up of new roads and laying of cobblestones in unpaved roads.
He said it was critical to maintain cleanliness in public places during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic when hygiene is important in breaking the chain of infections.
The administrator said the programme has had significant impact like cushioning the youth and their families against the negative economic impacts of Covid-19, reduction in crime, clean living environment and decrease in cases of drug and substance abuse.
He enumerated other benefits as increase in disposable income of the workers, decrease in cases of domestic violence, circulation of money in the local community and improvement of the local climate through plating of trees.
He said the main challenges being experienced so far included inadequate and inappropriate working tools and equipment such as wheelbarrows, spades, rakes and inadequate personal protective equipment such as hand gloves, gumboots, face masks and hand sanitizers for the workers and supervisors.
However, Ngumo said they were engaging stakeholders to provide the workers with adequate and appropriate tools and equipment. For instance the county government of Kwale has already procured some tools and equipment like wheelbarrows, spades and rakes.
He advised government departments and other agencies to take advantage of the free labour provided by the Kazi Mtaani Programme by providing materials and resources required in the implementation of legacy projects.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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