The youth in Garissa have been challenged to take advantage of the extension of the Kazi Mtaani and similar programmes aimed at empowering them economically.
Speaking at Bula Iftin, today, during the launch of the program, Garissa Sub-county Deputy County Commissioner, Solomon Chesut, urged the youth not to let the opportunity pass them.
Chesut said that the programme had not only helped the youth to earn, but had also helped in reducing petty crime, since the youth were engaged most of the time.
“This is one of the programme the government has come up with in order to engage and empower our youth to keep them off the streets and avoid being lured into crimes,” Chesut said.
“There are several other programmes in the ministries such as the Youth Enterprise Funds that have assisted the youth in accessing funding to assist them come up with own business instead of depending on white collar jobs that are hard to come by,” he added.
The Administrator also used the opportunity to warn those who will be absorbed in the program against absconding from duty, saying that such individuals will be immediately discontinued and replaced by others.
The government extended the National Hygiene Program, popularly known as Kazi Mtaani, after President Uhuru Kenyatta promised the youth he will do so.
The program that is in its Third Phase was unveiled by the President in 2020 and is meant to provide social protection for workers whose prospects for daily or casual work had been disrupted by the containment policies put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Through the initiative, residents are recruited to undertake projects concentrated in and around informal settlements with the aim of improving the environment, service delivery and providing income generation opportunities.
The workers are divided into groups or cohorts and an individual will earn Sh450 per day for eleven days each, while their supervisors will earn Sh505 per day for 22 days in a month. They are paid through M-Pesa.
Chesut said the objective of the programme is to provide a form of social protection not only the youth but who are vulnerable in the society.
Garissa OCPD, James Ng’etich, emphasized on the need to have the youth engaged, noting ‘that the program was the right avenue to not only earn money but also get engaged’.
“We all know what idleness can do to the mind, and so having this programme is a sure way of engaging our youth and in the end we will reduce crime. Let us all take advantage of it,” he said.
Cases of petty crime have been on the rise in Garissa town and its environs with residents blaming the police for doing little to address the matter. The youth are blamed for the menace.
Ngetich, however, warned those engaged in the crime, saying that the security apparatus was closing down on those behind the acts, saying that they will be arrested and taken to court.
By Jacob Songok