The Star (Kenya)

City slums now bet­ter places to live in, thanks to Kazi Mtaani jobs

Each earns Sh455 daily, su­per­vi­sor pock­ets Sh505

- FAITH NYASUGUTA Nairobi · United States Department of Housing and Urban Development · U.S. State Department · Uhuru Kenyatta · April 25 Sports Club · Safaricom

The gov­ern­ment spends Sh560 mil­lion per month on Nairobi youths un­der the Na­tional Hy­giene Pro­gramme, pop­u­larly known as Kazi Mtaani, whose first phase was rolled out in April.

The 53,733 youths and their 1,791 su­per­vi­sors were re­cruited from the city’s 11 sub­coun­ties.

Each earns Sh455 daily while su­per­vi­sors take home Sh505 each per day, ac­cord­ing to the State Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment.

Their job in­cludes build­ing ac­cess roads, open­ing drainages, tree plant­ing and garbage col­lec­tion. You have to be in the 18 -35 age cat­e­gory to be re­cruited.

At Mathare 3C vil­lage in Ma­ba­tini ward, the youths have cleared garbage and un­clogged drainages. And the job con­tin­ues. The im­proved stan­dard of hy­giene in the area is ev­i­dent.

At Mak­ina mar­ket in Kib­era, walk­ways are be­ing paved with cob­ble­stone while the youths are sweep­ing streets, col­lect­ing garbage and plant­ing trees in Mukuru, Eastleigh and Koro­go­cho.

Un­der Phase Two, which was rolled out on July 13, the youths are paint­ing and re­pair­ing gov­ern­ment fa­cil­i­ties, green­ing es­tates and en­gag­ing in ur­ban agri­cul­ture in 173 in­for­mal set­tle­ments.

County of­fi­cials say Kazi Mtaani has re­duced crime and kept the youth from drugs, al­co­hol and im­moral­ity.

The pro­gramme is an ini­tia­tive of Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta who rolled it out on April 25 as one of the eco­nomic stim­uli for in­for­mal set­tle­ments. It has ben­e­fited over 10,600 youths in Mathare, Kib­era, Mukuru and Koro­go­cho in­for­mal set­tle­ments alone.

Phase Two of the pro­gramme cov­ers over 1,000 in­for­mal set­tle­ments in 47 coun­ties.

More than 280,000 youths across the coun­try are ben­e­fit­ing from the Sh10 bil­lion ini­tia­tive.

Pay­ment is via M-pesa only af­ter Sa­fari­com waived the re­cov­ery of Fuliza loans to save in­debted youths from au­to­matic re­cov­ery of loans from the earn­ings.

“Through this ini­tia­tive, the par­tic­i­pants have a grace pe­riod where they can with­draw their earn­ings once paid,” Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Charles Hinga said last month.

He said the M-pesa pay­ment en­sures trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity.

Kazi Mtaani is meant to cush­ion job­less youths from the ad­verse eco­nomic ef­fects of Covid-19.

“The Kazi Mtaani con­cept is the pro­vi­sion of so­cial relief through job op­por­tu­ni­ties and hy­giene fa­cil­i­ta­tion to help con­tain the Covid-19 pandemic in in­for­mal ur­ban set­tle­ments,” Hinga said.

He said the first cy­cle of pay­ments had a 92 per cent suc­cess rate. The re­main­ing eight per cent had reg­is­tra­tion de­tails is­sues.

“For those whose pay­ments failed, there was an ID mis­match be­tween the num­ber they pro­vided for pay­ment and the ID num­ber reg­is­tered for the phone. In some in­stances, work­ers’ phones were in­ac­tive or were not reg­is­tered with M-pesa,” Hinga said.

KAZI MTAANI CON­CEPT PRO­VIDES SO­CIAL RELIEF BY CRE­AT­ING JOBS

 ?? /MERCY MUMO ?? Youths from Gikomba clean the streets un­der the Kazi Mtaani pro­gramme on Septem­ber 7
/MERCY MUMO Youths from Gikomba clean the streets un­der the Kazi Mtaani pro­gramme on Septem­ber 7
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