SET TO RETURN

State to clear Kazi Mtaani arrears after Sh3bn allocation

PS Hinga says government at an advanced stage to settle May arrears owed to youths.

In Summary
  • Each youth earns Sh455 daily while supervisors take home Sh505 each per day.
  • The government extended Kazi Mtaani in March after President Uhuru Kenyatta authorised the extension following an appeal by beneficiaries.
Youth engage in clean-up at Tudor Mwisho during Phase 1 of the Kazi Mtaani on May 15.
SET TO RETURN: Youth engage in clean-up at Tudor Mwisho during Phase 1 of the Kazi Mtaani on May 15.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

The state plans to revive the Kazi Mtaani programme and offset May arrears following Sh3 billion allocation this financial year.

Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga told the Star on Wednesday the state is identifying different activities to be done in the programme.

Kazi Mtaani provided a source of income to at least 280,000 youths.

In May, the government announced that the programme was to take a break to allow for closure of the last financial year that ended on June 30.

New directions would be given on the way forward in the coming days.

Housing PS Charles Hinga at a past function. State to settle May arrears owed to youths in Kazi Mtaani programme.
SETTLING ARREARS: Housing PS Charles Hinga at a past function. State to settle May arrears owed to youths in Kazi Mtaani programme.
Image: FILE

PS Hinga said the government is at an advanced stage to settle May arrears owed to youths.

“Our priority is to pay pending bills carried forward from last financial year. As soon as the bills are verified by internal auditors and Treasury releases funds we are good to go,” Hinga said.

Youths across the 47 counties have raised concerns that the delay has made it hard for them to meet their basic needs.

Kazi Mtaani is a national initiative launched in April last year to cushion the most vulnerable but able-bodied youth living in informal settlements from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The programme, which started with a budget of Sh10 billion, employed 283,210 youths in 900 informal settlements across the 47 counties.

It targeted youth above eighteen years to 35 years who are unable to find work due to the economic disruptions. 

The programme has transformed their lives by creating job opportunities, which has helped reduce crime in society.

The youths worked for a maximum of eight hours from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday with the exception of public holidays.

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

The beneficiaries operate on two shifts, each working 11 days a month.

Each youth earns Sh455 daily while supervisors take home Sh505 each per day.

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

Kazi Mtaani was extended in March after President Uhuru Kenyatta authorised the extension following an appeal by beneficiaries.

The President had asked Kenya's development partners to support public programmess that directly benefit wananchi such as the 'Kazi Mtaani' initiative.

Uhuru said Kazi Mtaani had created employment for thousands of youth and helped develop their entrepreneurial and financial skills through training.

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

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

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)