A total of 2, 488 more youth in Kwale County are set to benefit in the second phase of the National Hygiene Programme (NHP) popularly known as ‘Kazi Mtaani’.
In the first phase that ended in June, 1, 000 Kwale youth were hired for the youth project aimed at economically empowering jobless young people during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kwale County Commissioner (CC) Karuku Ngumo said initially, youth in Msambweni and Matuga sub counties benefited from the pilot programme but in the second phase, youth from Lunga Lunga and Kinango sub counties would be brought on board.
Ngumo said the activities the labourers would undertake included street cleaning, fumigation and disinfection, garbage collection, bush clearing and de-silting of choked gutters among others in slum areas.
The CC who was addressing a county development implementation committee meeting on Friday in Kwale town said that in the first phase, the programme has been able to put money into the pockets of the beneficiaries through paid work for maintaining a clean environment.
The county chief said the beneficiaries have been able to fend for their families by earning a daily wage of Sh600 while undertaking the public project works.
He said currently, the labourers will be working in shifts and would earn a daily wage of Sh455 down from Sh600 during the initial phase of the project.
“As a county, we are grateful that our slots have increased to 3, 488 labourers who will work under the 116 supervisors mostly drawn from serving National Youth Service (NYS) personnel, ex-NYS servicemen and youth champions,” he said.
The CC said chiefs, their assistants and village elders have been tasked in selecting the youth ready to join the Kazi Mtaani programme.
Ngumo warned the team against demanding kickbacks from desperate youth seeking jobs as part of covid-19 economic recovery strategy.
“We have instructed chiefs and the village elders to ensure the hiring process is transparent because they will be held to account for their actions,” he said.
The programme was launched by the President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 25, targeting youths in slums from eight counties.
The programme, championed by the national government, was first rolled out in slums in Kiambu, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale, Nakuru, Mandera, Kilifi and Kisumu which were identified as coronavirus hotspots.
However, in the second phase which will be launched next week, the social protection programme will be rolled out across the 47 counties for the next six months.
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.
By Hussein Abdullahi