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Govt releases Sh1.2b youth stimulus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – The government has disbursed at least Sh1.2 billion to all districts under the Kazi Kwa Vijana initiative which is expected to employ more than 300,000 youths.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga was on Friday informed by Provincial Commissioners that allocation for water projects had been scaled up by Sh225 million to Sh725 million.

“Sh20 million is earmarked for afforestation activities as every chief is expected to initiate the planting of at least 1,000 trees in their areas of jurisdiction,” said the PM.

The Premier said Kazi Kwa Vijana programme was set to be rolled out nationwide in two weeks time, with heavy involvement of the provincial administration, local authorities and regional development agencies.

He said the exercise would kick off in all the constituencies but asked the administrators to take an active role in the programme which, he stressed, was tailored to stem the growing frustrations over joblessness, poverty and famine.

Addressing the Permanent Secretaries and Provincial Commissioners after going through the two weeks score card record the Premier said the Kazi Kwa Vijana is a Cabinet initiative to alleviate suffering attributed to famine, unemployment and poverty.

He said it is another of the targeted subsidies that the government has been rolling out in recent years to cushion the poor. Other such interventions include school feeding program and famine relief food.

Said the PM; “Kazi Kwa Vijana was arrived at after the government decided that it was not good enough to give people just food.”

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The government felt it was necessary to let people work and earn money which they could then spend on their priorities, including food.

The administrators were informed that further disbursement of allocation to the programme expected to be launched nationwide on April 1 would be on first come first serve basis in a period stretching for three months.

He said the provincial administration is critical to the success of the programme and asked the PCs to share with the government the realities on the ground.

“The government is not coming up with projects just for purposes of employing people but we are focusing on improving people’s lives by tackling their needs,” he said.

He said all district government officers especially those under the line ministries have to get involved and identify projects for inclusion in the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme ahead of the launch on April 1.

Members of Parliament, he said, are also expected to get involved at constituency level.

The PM said youth leadership at the grassroots also be involved to work alongside the government officers in this programme.

The line ministries for the programme are Planning, Finance, Internal Security, Office of the Prime Minister, Forestry, Water, Roads, Local Government and Youth and Sports.

All district accountants and district development officers are also to participate in the programme, alongside district Youth officers and the National Youth Service.

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Speaking at the consultative forum, Youth and Sports PS Kinuthia Murugu asked for a deliberate effort to have youths attend chief’s barazas across the country where government development programmes are discussed.

The PS lamented that while the government is rolling out its programmes for the youth, government functions, especially barazas where the initiatives were being discussed are only attended by ageing men and women.


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