A labor-intensive public works program dubbed Kazi Mtaani is set to provide immediate job opportunities for more than 26,000 Kenyans across the country.
The program, which is spearheaded by the State Department of Housing and Urban Development, is geared at integrating jobless Kenyans in urban hygiene and sanitation works across 23 informal settlements.
Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga says the program will provide 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 Kazi Mtaani program will see the enlisting of 26,148 Kenyans living in informal settlements to undertake rapid environment improvements and sanitation management.
The program provides opportunities for citizens above the age of eighteen (18) of all genders provided they reside in the target informal settlements.
Under the program, enlisted workers will earn a daily wage and undertake duties such as ‘street’ cleaning, fumigation and disinfection, garbage collection, Bush clearance and drainage unclogging services, among others.
“The Kazi Mtaani NHP 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,” Hinga said.
“Phase 1 of the NHP program will deliver wages amounting for more than 30,000 informal settlement dwellers for the next one month allowing them to meet their economic needs. The Kazi Mtaani NHP payment structure is also aligned to the aims of providing a daily income and this is why workers will be paid at least twice a week through mobile money transfers,” he added.
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.
In Nairobi, 10,600 Kenyans living in Mathare, Kibera, Mukuru and Korogocho have been enlisted for the NHP rollout and have been undertaking daily sanitation and environment preservation duties in the respective settlements.
“These water bowsers will come in very handy in the Nairobi settlements by providing easy access to potable water for households’ distribution and watering of trees planted on the reclaimed Nairobi River riparian land,” Hinga said.
The first phase of the NHP program will focus on informal settlements in the counties of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kilifi, Kwale, and Mandera. 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. NHP will, therefore, focus on putting people back to work in the short-term as a measure to alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic within informal settlements.