The second phase of a youth empowerment programme targeting slums was launched Tuesday, with a promise by President Uhuru Kenyatta that he will personally supervise the projects.
The programmes are undertaken through the Ministry of Planning and the National Youth Service ( NYS).
During the launch of the programme, the President directed all line ministries to ensure the projects are implemented expeditiously and that funds set aside are utilized well.
He warned line cabinet secretaries against relying on field reports.
“I will personally supervise the projects to ensure that what we are being told is what is happening on the ground. I’m also asking various cabinet secretaries whose ministries are involved in the implementation to do their work. Do not just sit in the office and wait for reports,” said the President.
The launch took place in Eastlands’s Mukuru kwa Njenga slums and is a follow up to another programme currently being undertaken in Kibra. The projects seek to create employment apart from improving security and sanitation in the targeted areas.
“We want to take the projects to all corners of the country because we want to empower the youth. We want to see development in all areas, and not just in high cost areas,” said the President.
Planning and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru was upbeat about the project and thanked the NYSfor co-operating with various agencies to ensure the projects are implemented. She revealed the current project will involve over 400 officers and recruits from NYS, and will employ over 3,500 youths in the area.
The youth empowerment programme has slowly transformed into one of the Jubilee government’s flagship projects, and is largely seen as part of a charm offensive by the Government targeted at the youth in slum areas. During last year’s Jamhuri Day celebrations, the implementation of the Kibra project was widely highlighted, receiving accolades from visiting Ghanaian Head of State John Dramani Mahama.
During the launch Tuesday, the President directed Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu to ensure that over 26,700 squatters occupying a disputed piece of land in the area are settled as part of efforts by the Government to empower people living in slums.
He also directed that all illegal buildings that have been erected in the area and other estates in Nairobi be brought down.