Kazi Mtaani to continue for a longer period
The government will not stop the National Hygiene Programme, dubbed Kazi Mtaani until it achieves its goal of cushioning the country’s youth from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Transport’s State Department of Housing and Urban Development said the Sh10 billion programme is being run in a transparent manner and is promoting hygiene standards and transforming lives of youth in the informal settlements.
“The programme was conceptualised as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic with a twin objective of putting food on the table of youth who lost their livelihoods as a result of the pandemic as well as to improve health and sanitation in informal settlements,” Housing and Urban Development PS, Charles Hinga said in a statement.
The MPs at the Third Leadership Summit in Nairobi raised concern that taxpayers risk losing money in the project they complained is shrouded in mystery.
But the PS said that to ensure that programme was as transparent as possible, it approached Safaricom to be the paying agent so as to achieve a situation where workers earn their wages directly to their registered MPesa phone numbers.
The programme is staggered in two phases expected to be concluded at the end of this year.
And to respond to the MPs’ assertions that the programme is mysterious, Hinga said that the workers in both phases were registered through an App in which they sign in and out daily.
“In order to ensure transparency and accountability, Phase Two workers were enrolled through a Kazi Mtaani App that facilitates clocking in and out daily.
This was to avoid situations where some of the youth were registered and not showing up for work or engaging in double registration,” the PS said.
Safaricom also, graciously offered to waive recovery of Fuliza loans where the youth could have ended up paying the loans using their earnings; he said stating that through the initiative, the participants have a grace period where they can withdraw their earnings once paid.
The PS said the programme was expanded in Phase Two to cover the entire country and over 1,000 informal settlements.
“Recruitment was conducted at the informal settlement level under the auspices of Nyumba Kumi and in partnership with other State agencies and County Governments.
The recruitment targeted 283,210 workers split into two cohorts each working 11 days a month,” he said.
During Phase Two, Hinga noted the youth are engaged in the same work as those in Phase 1 as well as other works of a permanent nature that are supposed to impact society through creation of access roads; pavement of streets using cobble stones, preparation of stabilised soil blocks for construction of classrooms and public toilets as well as planting and growing of trees.
“There are some cohorts that are engaging in urban agriculture even,” he added.
In Phase One, the PS said 31,689 youth were recruited between April and May from eight counties that initially bore the brunt of the pandemic namely Mandera, Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu and Kisumu. The national government jointly with the World Bank.