The steering committee of the National Hygiene Program, popularly known as Kazi Mtaani, has announced the extension of the initiative which was due to end on March 4, 2021.

According to State Department of Housing and Urban Development PS Charles Hinga, the decision will bring a sigh of relief to over 280,000 youth engaged in the program.

“The President promised two weeks ago that Kazi Mtaani will be extended, following an appeal by the youth,” the PS said in a statement.

He explained that workers under the program operate on two shifts of Cohort A and B, each working for 11 days a month.

Workers earn Kshs. 455 per day while the supervisors earn Kshs.505 per day, he said, adding that the success rate for payment to the youth through the M-pesa platform has of late peaked at over 99 percent.

In his statement to the Press, PS Hinga stated that the program injected over Ksh. 700million into the grassroot economy every two weeks with its implementation in 900 informal settlements across the 47 counties,

“Phase two of the hugely successful COVID-19 mitigation initiative, whose objective is to shore up hygiene and sanitation in informal settlements as well as put food on the table for thousands of youth rendered jobless by the pandemic started in July last year with a budget of Ksh. 10billion,” he said.

Among the activities of the program are garbage collection and street cleaning, fumigation and unclogging of drainages, rehabilitation of public facilities such as buildings, access roads, and walkways.

PS Hinga said tree growing and preparations of stabilized soil blocks for construction has also prominently featured.

He averred that tens of thousands of youth have also received extensive training on life skills such as setting up businesses, HIV/Aids prevention, mental health and counselling, and basic skills in masonry and carpentry.

“Many of the youth have come forth with testimonials of the transformative impact of the program as they have since been able to set up small thriving businesses,” he added.

The current phase is expected to involve the youth in works whose outcome is of a more permanent nature, the PS noted.

The Kazi Mtaani Program was unveiled in July 2020 as a local economic recovery initiative and a form of social protection designed to cushion the youth and vulnerable citizens in informal settlements.

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