, KISUMU, Kenya, Apr 21 – The Nyalenda informal settlement – one of the lakeside city of Kisumu’s four slums – is set for a major facelift following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s launch of a youth empowerment and slum upgrading project.
Speaking during the launch Tuesday at Nyalenda in Kisumu County, President Kenyatta disclosed that the slum upgrading project will also see the employment of 4,000 youths from the informal settlement.
Through the Nyalenda project, the youths will be engaged in clean-ups and construction of toilets, medical clinics and police posts.
“We have decided that the best way to reduce poverty is to take development to the citizens wherever they are,” President Kenyatta said, affirming the government’s commitment to ensuring equitable development in informal settlement and other parts of the country.
The President said the upgrading of Nyalenda slum paves the way for the improvement of the remaining three informal settlements of Manyatta, Obunga and Nyawita in Kisumu County.
He advised the youths who will benefit from the project – implemented by the Ministry of Devolution through the National Youth Service (NYS) – to form a Savings and Credit Co-operative (SACCO) where they will save some of their earnings.
Citing the example of the ongoing Kibera slum upgrading project, President Kenyatta asked Nyalenda beneficiaries to emulate the Kibera youths who have saved up to Sh100 million, which they will use as start-up capital for their businesses when the project comes to an end.
President Kenyatta said the project targets construction of 23 medical clinics, 23 toilets and 23 police posts as well as a road to open up the informal settlement.
“This project is a testimony of the cooperation between the county and national governments. This is the partnership that we want to cultivate,” President Kenyatta said.
He urged the county government of Kisumu to complement the national government’s initiatives of creating employment for the youths and improving the lives of citizens by ensuring equity in implementation of development projects.
“We believe that Kenya is one and we want development to reach every part of the country,” President Kenyatta said, adding: “We cannot do that without going to where the citizens live.”
The President assured that the government is determined to extend the slum upgrading program to all parts of the country.
To curb the spread of malaria in the informal settlement, President Kenyatta urged the residents to embrace the national anti-malaria campaign he launched last year in Migori and sleep under treated mosquito nets to keep the disease at bay.
Leading jubilant Nyalenda residents in thanking the President for the project, Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma said the county government is working in collaboration with other development partners and has identified Nyalenda as a special planning zone.