CUSHIONING UNEMPLOYMENT

Government disburses Sh679.5 million to Kazi Mtaani workers

Some 131,092 beneficiaries' details matched with M-Pesa and received Sh679.2m.

In Summary

• PS  Hinga had said after the end of the programme in March, some of the workers will transition to projects run by other state departments and agencies.

• The youths were expected to work for a maximum of eight hours from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday, every week exception being on public holidays with the daily wage being Sh455 while supervisors being paid Sh505.

Youths at work in Kiandutu slums in Thika on Wednesday, May 20, 2020
KAZI MTAANI: Youths at work in Kiandutu slums in Thika on Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Image: JOHN KAMAU

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has disbursed Sh679.5 million to 137,157 workers under Cohort 'A' of the Kazi Mtaani Initiative in the last week of February.

Some 131,092  beneficiaries' details matched with M-Pesa and received Sh679.2 million. Another 31 who are not registered got Sh154,700.

Seven people with pending active status on M-Pesa received Sh35,035  while 27 people with ID mismatch received Sh133,315.

 “ Cohort A Kazi Mtaani payment done and dusted with 99,95 per cent success rate. Over Sh670 million circulating in about 1,160 informal settlements countrywide has seen over 137,000 youths facilitated," said Housing PS Charles Hinga.

Following the requests from youths across the country, President Uhuru Kenyatta on February 19, 2021, announced that the Kazi Mtaani Programme would be extended.

He said youths have demanded an extension of the programme since it cushions them against unemployment.

In January, the programme was extended by one month until March 4, following sustained lobbying by beneficiaries. Cohort 'A' workers resumed duty on February 3. 

PS  Hinga had said after the end of the programme in March, some of the workers will transition to projects run by other state departments and agencies.

Kazi Mtaani, is a national initiative that was launched in April 2020 to cushion the most vulnerable but able-bodied citizens living in informal settlements from the effects and response strategies of the Covid -19 pandemic.

The programme, which started with a budget of Sh10 billion, employs 280,000 young people in 900 informal settlements across the 47 counties.

It targeted residents of informal settlements who are above eighteen years of age and below 35 years basically the youth who are unable to find work due to the disruption of normal economic activity by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The youths were expected to work for a maximum of eight hours from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday, every week exception being on public holidays with the daily wage being Sh455 while supervisors being paid Sh505.

It included cleaning drainage lines, garbage collection, cleaning streets, growing trees and rehabilitation of public facilities.

This program has made a great impact on the youths lives as it has transformed their lives in all dimensions by creating job opportunities and this has helped reduce the crime rate in society.

The World Bank also commended the programme, saying it had helped in reducing crime and drug abuse in the informal settlements

It also noted that the programme has also reduced youth dependency on other people and improved livelihoods.