More than 10,000 jobless youths living in informal settlements in Nairobi are set to benefit from a programme aimed at cushioning them with daily income in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is part of a project spearheaded by the State Department of Housing dubbed Kazi Mtaani to be rolled out across 23 informal settlements countrywide in phases to provide more than 26,000 youths with immediate job opportunities.
State Department of Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga said the youths will earn a daily wage while undertaking duties such as access paths and ‘street’ cleaning, fumigation and disinfection, garbage collection, Bush clearance and drainage unclogging services, among others.
“The payment structure is aimed at providing a daily income and this is why workers will be paid at least twice a week through mobile money transfers,” said Mr Hinga adding that phase one of the programme will deliver wages for the next one month allowing them to meet their economic needs.
He said the project has been conceptualized to provide social relief by providing jobs and facilitating hygiene interventions to help contain the Covid-19 pandemic in informal urban settlements geared at integrating jobless Kenyans in urban hygiene and sanitation works across 23 informal settlements.
“The programme provides opportunities for citizens above the age of 18 of all genders provided they reside in the target informal settlements. The focus is on putting people back to work in the short-term as a measure to alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic within informal settlements,” he said.
The PS pointed out that the Kazi Mtaani National Hygiene Programme (NHP) initiative is an extended public works project (EPWP) aimed at providing employment and daily wages for low-income workers living informal settlements while improving urban infrastructure and service delivery within informal settlements.
The first phase of the NHP program will also focus on informal settlements in the counties of Mombasa, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kilifi, Kwale and Mandera which will see the enlisting of 26, 148 Kenyans living in the informal settlements to undertake rapid environment improvements and sanitation management.
“These counties have seen the first instances of COVID-19 and have been affected by the cessation of movement policy initiated to contain the spread of the virus. The containment strategies have affected economic activity, making it difficult for those reliant on daily work to meet their basic needs,” said the PS.
Alongside the economic stimulus, the NHP will also deliver improved services and environment for 27 settlements in 8 counties including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu and Kisumu.