The Second Phase of the National Hygiene Programme, popularly known as the Kazi Mtaani initiative, will target 55,524 youth in Nairobi County, up from 12,250 in the pilot phase of the project.
This was said at the official launch of the project in the Waruku area of Dagoretti North Constituency by Correctional Services PS, Zeinab Hussein, who added that the programme will provide a crucial safety net to numerous households; especially those in informal settlements of the county.
The 55,524 will comprise of 53,733 workers and 1,791 supervisors drawn from the National Youth Service and local champions. In the Waruku area, the programme will engage 521 youth workers who are being supervised by 15 local champions. Each champion in the area is in charge of a group of 30 youth workers.
Speaking at the event, PS Zeinab said: “This programme targets mainly the youth in a bid to give them a source of livelihood in this very tough economic time and to ensure that in earning their income, they are also contributing to the welfare and wellbeing of their communities.”
She added that with the programme being rolled out countrywide, more youths stood to benefit; impacting more households across all the counties.
“The first phase of the programme, which was launched in April and lasted through June, was rolled out in eight counties with a budget of about KShs 760 million and was extremely successful. The Government has now scaled this up to all 47 Counties targeting 900 informal settlements and with a budget of KShs 10 billion; underpinning the commitment with which the Government is taking this initiative,” she said.
PS Zeinab added that the programme will be moving towards engaging the youths in improvement of access roads and public utilities;over and above the hygiene improvement activities they are currently involved in.
“Progressively, we are going to add more skills-based tasks to the programme and will work with the youth to build access roads, public utilities, rehabilitation of public schools, hospitals and toilets; in the process,broadening their skills-set,” she said.
Speaking at the same function, Nairobi Regional Commissioner, Wilson Njenga, said that the impact of the programme is already being felt with the rate of crime reducing on the back of a more engaged youth population.
“A lot of youths were left jobless as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic leading to increased cases of crime especially in the informal settlements. However, since this programme started, we have seen a significant drop of crime to the extent that this week, we have seen many informal settlements reporting zero cases. This is because these youths are now more engaged and have a means of livelihood,” he said.
The event was attended by, among others, the Deputy County Commissioner, Westlands, Mwai Gicheru and representatives of the local area leadership.