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Youth to focus on uprooting ‘mathenge’ trees under Kazi Mtaani

Youths working under the Kazi Mtaani programme in Lodwar municipality will focus on uprooting mathenge trees in coming weeks to secure gains made after cutting of the tree branches.

 

The committee in charge of the programme led by County Commissioner Muthama Wambua on Thursday resolved to ensure that priority is given to uprooting the invasive tree species completely which has caused insecurity and poor visibility on roads.

 

“We commend the youth for the good work they have done in clearing the mathenge bushes but they must not stop there, they should uproot the trees as a lasting solution to this menace,” Wambua said in his office.

 

Some 3,700 youth in the county are engaged in employment under the Kazi Mtaani programme after it was launched in July. Among them are 3,657 casual workers and 122 supervisors who are involved in the six and a half months project.

 

A 10-acre agri-nutrition model farm at Nakwamekwi in Lodwar that will mainly focus on horticultural and fruit farming is one of the key projects under the programme.

 

The project will include leveling of the farm, river protection works, nursery establishment and distribution of seedlings, de-stumping, as well as training of farmers on modern farming techniques.

 

Other works include opening sewer systems, beautification of Lodwar town, tree planting, construction of an arboretum and clearing bushes infested by mathenge tree which have turned to be hideouts for thugs where cases of rape and mugging have been reported.

 

Wambua challenged the chiefs and the supervisors to put more effort and ensure that the programme delivers as intended.

 

Lodwar town municipality manager Esther Kiong’a said five more skilled personnel had been brought on board to support the programme.

 

Kiong’a said the new workers include quantity surveyor, civil engineer and an architect who will work as intern for one year and earn Sh. 25,000 monthly.

 

“The youth are making use of the mathenge trees to burn charcoal as well as fencing posts,” she said.

 

Other key projects that will be implemented under the programme include the construction of a compost pit to ease waste management in the municipality.

 

Delayed disbursement of funds to the county government due to the revenue sharing standoff in the senate was cited as a major challenge to the project because the county was to fund some aspects of the project including purchasing some tools for the youth.

 

By Peter Gitonga

 

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