, KISUMU, Kenya, Jun 29 – Kisumu youths on Monday requested President Uhuru Kenyatta to extend the National Youth Service (NYS) Youth Empowerment and Slum upgrading Project for another year.
The jubiliant youths – working under the project in Obunga informal settlement in Kisumu County – lined up the road to thank the President for the project that is earning them a livelihood.
By a show of hands, they assured President Kenyatta that the project was transforming their lives. The President was on his way from Kisumu International Airport to Uzima University College where he joined Catholic faithful in celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the Archidiocese of Kisumu.
President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction that the project – which he launched last year – was a success.
“We are keen in ensuring that estates are clean and all Kenyans live in habitable environment. At the same time the project is providing employment to our youths,” President Kenyatta said.
Speaking amid clapping and cheering from the youths, the President assured that the Government will explore the possibilities of expanding the project and extending it for another year.
He advised the youths to save what they earn from the NYS project and start small business that will sustain them after it concludes.
“Our aim is to eradicate poverty and transform the lives of citizens. We want Kenyans to live peacefully, in unity and be proud of their country,” the President said.
President Kenyatta emphasized that destructive politics should not be allowed to undermine the project.
“We want this project to empower our youth. As leaders, let us join hands irrespective of political affiliation to see our youth reap maximum benefits from the project because our aim is to improve the lives of all Kenyans,” the President said.
The Head of State, who was accompanied by Area Member of Parliament Ken Obura and other Kisumu leaders, said politics should not be given room to impoverish the people of Kenya.
He said: “There is time for politics and time for development. Now is time for development.”
As part of the Government efforts to create opportunities for the youths, the President said the cost of electricity, especially connection fee, was brought down to spur growth of small enterprises.
“This will also help in preventing fires resulting from illegal electricity connections. We also want to put up health facilities and police posts in all parts of the country to improve health and security,” the President said.
The President also took the opportunity to inspect the cleaning exercise that was being carried out by the youths in the area.
Obura appreciated the NYS Youth Empowerment Project, saying it has benefited the youths in his constituency. He concurred with the President that politics should not be permitted to spoil the project.