Youth under the National Hygiene Programme in Trans Mara West Sub County have pleaded with the government to extend the Kazi Mtaani programme which has lifted their standards of living.
The programme was supposed to end in March 2021 but President Uhuru Kenyatta extended it for another month after youths pleaded with him for more time to serve their nation.
The youth who spoke to KNA in Kilgoris town said apart from the financial benefits that the programme comes with, the youth are taken through important life skills like hygiene, family planning, financial management, ICT among others.
Richard Obege confessed that the weekly wage he receives from Kazi Mtaani has helped him build a house for his young family saying before his family lived in a rented house which was very expensive.
“I have been saving the money and lucky enough, I have built a house on the land I inherited from my father, where my young family is currently living. I plead with President Kenyatta to extend the programme which has raised our standards of living,” he said.
Ms Truvena Kemuto revealed that before the programme, her three children could sleep hungry as she had no source of income but since she was enrolled in the programme, this has never happened.
“I lived a very desperate life. My children were walking and begging on the streets like the street children. I could not afford to dress well. Now I feel a ‘person enough’ even to interact with different people in the society,” she said.
Kemuto pleaded with the government to consider expanding the programme as it has helped thousands of youth across the country who could not afford to place food on the table.
Another youth Ms Lilian Cherono lauded the project saying besides the personal benefits, the sanitation in the town and its environs had improved a lot.
“We have planted flowers in various departmental offices, cleared long grass besides the roads, opened drainages among other activities that have beautified our town. We kindly plead for the extension of the programme,” she said.
David Letaya said the financial management topic offered every Thursday has helped him gain knowledge on how to save for the future.
“I personally have never opened a bank account, but we have had bank managers coming to train us on how to open the accounts and save money,” he said.
Letaya reiterated that the group has been taught how to access government funds through the Uwezo Fund, Youth Enterprise Fund, Women Enterprise Fund and the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF).
In addition, he said the youth under the Kazi Mtaani programme have been taught on saving with National Social and Security Fund (NSSF), National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the benefits of forming registered groups.
Trans Mara West Youth Officer David Karuna said the sub county has absorbed 780 youth under the Kazi Mtaani initiative who were drawn from the Migingo, Kibera and Majengo slums in the area.
He commended the youth for the good work they were doing saying the level of crimes reported among the youth have gone down.
“I appreciate the fact that I have seen some opening car wash businesses, buying motorbikes for business, selling vegetables, opening salons and barber shops. This is very encouraging because before, some of these youth were idling in town,” he said.
He added that the youth had planted over 5, 000 tree seedlings in different institutions in the sub county since the programme began in July last year.
The youth get a daily wage of Sh 455 with their supervisors getting Sh 500 that is channeled through their M-pesa account after a fortnight.
By Ann Salaton