Mombasa County has witnessed a sharp decline of insecurity incidences following the introduction of the National Hygiene Programme (NHP).
Area residents have welcomed the programme dubbed ‘Kazi Mtaani’ that engages young people in community service saying many of them were idle and involved themselves in criminal activities.
The second phase of the campaign that was initiated by the National Government in April to cushion the youth during period of covid-19 and improving environment in informal settlements kicked off smoothly in all the six sub-counties in the coastal city.
“Since the introduction of the programme our county, especially crime prone areas of Kisauni and Likoni, have witnessed significant decline of both petty and serious crimes,” said Abdalla Mwalimu, a resident of Kisauni.
During the official launching of the second phase on Monday at Shanzu in Kisauni sub-county, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Hussein Dado said the area has been in the news for the wrong reasons.
He said “instead of our young people carrying pangas (machetes) to terrorize the residents, they should now put them in meaningful activities.
Dado added that Kazi Mtaani initiative will in the long run address the challenges of unemployment confronting the youth saying the program apart from involving the youth in efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic is also an engaging way to raise awareness about the environment.
In Likoni, the area Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Francis Kazungu said 2,020 youth have been enlisted in the initiative championed by the national government aimed at cushioning the jobless youth at this time of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the hygiene programme will ensure the problem of joblessness that culminates in youth engaging in crime will be a thing of the past.
Speaking with Kenya News Agency, the DCC said the youth take part in the Kazi Mtaani project where they earn daily wage while undertaking duties such as street cleaning, fumigation, disinfection, garbage collection, drainage unclogging and bush clearing among other tasks.
The administrator said the environmental activities in the informal settlements is aimed at getting rid of filth and prevent coronavirus outbreak in vulnerable areas.
He said it is critical to maintain the cleanliness during this period of the pandemic when hygiene is important in breaking the chain of infections.
He said the project will ensure that youth who form the bulk of the population do not remain in the periphery of community affairs in the face of the covid-19 pandemic.
Kazungu said majority of hospitality workers in Mombasa County were laid off especially those in tourist hotels along the Indian Ocean due to the coronavirus lockdown and the Kazi Mtaani initiative was a relief to the jobless youth.
Fatuma Mwinyi a beneficiary of the hygiene project said majority of the beneficiaries were young people who were rendered jobless as the pandemic took an economic toll in the country.
Said Hassan another beneficiary said the project will help the young people to earn money as they clean up the environment especially public spaces.
Mombasa has enlisted 13,861 youth from all the six sub-counties during the second phase after successful completion of the first phase that involved 7,500 youth from three sub-counties of Mvita, Jomvu and Nyali.
By Mohamed Hassan