ENGAGING THE YOUTH

Kazi Mtaani programme has reduced crime rate in Siaya

The Kaazi Mtaani initiative that provides periodical income for the youths has recently come to the rescue.

In Summary

• Historically, young people are known to be the most involved in crime due to lack of jobs.

• Coupled with lack of experience and skills in highly skilled professions, young people resort to crime and other social ills

Youth queue for Kazi Mtaani recruitment at Mlolongo assistant county commissioner's office in Athi River, Machakos county
Youth queue for Kazi Mtaani recruitment at Mlolongo assistant county commissioner's office in Athi River, Machakos county
Image: GEORGE OWITI

The recent engagement of youths in the Kaazi Mtaani programme, a government initiative to enlist young people into skilled and non-skilled employment, has reduced in Siaya.

Historically, young people are known to be the most involved in crime due to lack of engagement in meaningful economic activities due to the high unemployment in Kenya. 

Coupled with lack of experience and skills in highly skilled professions, young people resort to crime and other social ills to meet their daily needs. Some are lured to such ends by bad company that is readily available. This situation has recently been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which saw job opportunities dwindle even further thereby exposing the youths to even more economic hazards. 

The Kaazi Mtaani initiative that provides periodical income for the youths has recently come to the rescue. 

Apart from guaranteeing a source of income, it provides an outlet for young people to spend their energies and the exhaustion that comes with that reduces further any available energy for the youth to get involved in any form of criminal activities. 

The programme is also executed in groups and not at individual level thereby guaranteeing security during the working hours by the youths. 

The involvement of the national government in the selection and supervision has also enhanced the relationship between administrators and youths, a relationship that was previously antagonistic. Research has shown that when communities cohesively coexist with administrators, security is adequately enhanced and Kaazi Mtaani has provided this proof.

The exhaustion that comes with engagement in Kaazi Mtaani engagements by the youths have also seen reduced engagement in drugs and alcohol abuse among the youth which has previously enhanced crime. This was helped further by the President's directive on closure of drinking joints. 

As a result of these interventions, fewer crimes involving young people have been reported since the programme was initiated. To a large extent, therefore, Kaazi Mtaani has led to improved security.

The writer works at Siaya county government