Covid-19

Kenya said on Friday it has stepped up plans to ensure the timely kick-off of the second phase of the National Hygiene Program (NHP) dubbed Kazi Mtaani early next week.

Charles Hinga, principal secretary for State Department of Housing and Urban Development, said an inter-ministerial team has already developed grassroots work plans that will see more than 270,000 Kenyans absorbed in the national program with a 10 billion shillings (about 94 million U.S. dollar) budget outlay.

“The Kazi Mtaani national technical committee has prepared robust work plans that will see more than 270,000 Kenyans earning a 455 shillings daily wage and engaged in more community and infrastructure development projects,” Hinga said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Hinga said the national government through Kazi Mtaani will underwrite the labor costs while county governments will provide resources for the project’s development including materials and technical designs.

In the first phase set to close at the end of this month, Hinga confirmed that 31,689 Kenyans in eight counties worked on the national initiative designed to cushion the most vulnerable but able-bodied citizens living in informal settlements from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hinga said that from eight counties, the initiative which is expanding to all 47 counties will employ workers primarily drawn from the informal settlements in urban and rural settings.

Targeted initiatives such as Kazi Mtaani, he noted, provide employment opportunities to under-represented groups and provide platforms to mitigate the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The objective of the Kazi Mtaani program is to provide a form of social protection for workers whose prospects for daily or casual work has been disrupted by the containment policies put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Hinga.

“This benefit cannot be overlooked as it is essential to the resilience of informal settlement dwellers during this time and after,” he added.

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