The Covid-19 pandemic has caused severe economic and social impact on Kenya, jeopardising the livelihoods of vulnerable groups particularly the youth. Reports indicate that young people are increasingly sliding into depression as a result of acute unemployment, drug abuse, teenage pregnancies and dim economic prospects.

To mitigate the challenges, the National Government through the Ministry of Health has come up with a National Hygiene Program (Kazi Mtaani) targetting the youth. The programme aims at positively engaging the youth through providing hygiene in informal settlements so as to transform the environment.

Speaking during the launch of the programme in the County on Friday at Amalemba grounds in Kakamega, Principal Secretary in the State Department for University Education and Research Amb. Simon Nabukwesi said the youth are an important pillar to the national economy. He encouraged them to observe high levels of discipline and patience so as to progress in life.

“I thank the National and County Governments for the cooperation which has made the recruitment and registration process a success,” the PS said.

Kakamega County CECM for Lands, Housing, Urban Areas and Physical Planning Mr. Alfred Matianyi who represented H.E. the Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya appreciated the initiative and said it will improve the hygiene standards of Kakamega and Mumias municipalities moreso in the informal settlements.

“We will provide a work plan on how the work will be done and we believe by the time this pandemic subsides, our youth will have benefited a lot from this project,” he said.

In attendance were Regional Commissioner Anne Ng’etich, Kakamega County Commissioner Pauline Dola, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) Vice Chancellor Prof. Solomon Shibairo and Kakamega County Secretary and Head of Public Service madam Jacinta Aluoch Odhiambo among other senior government officials from both levels of government.