The National Hygiene Program (NHP), dubbed Kazi Mtaani, is a national initiative that designed to cushion the most vulnerable but able-bodied citizens living in informal settlements from the effects and response strategies of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was conceptualized an extended public works project (EPWPs) aimed at utilizing labor intensive approaches to create sustainable public goods in the urban development sector. Through this initiative, residents from informal settlements are recruited to undertake projects concentrated in and around informal settlements with the aim of improving the environment, service delivery infrastructure, and providing income generation opportunities.
The first phase of Kazi Mtaani kicked off in April 2020 as a pilot program and focused on select informal settlements in the 8 counties of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kilifi, Kwale, and Mandera. The program employed over 26,000 workers from informal settlements.
The second phase of Kazi Mtaani will be expanded to cover 34 counties and employ 200,000 workers from informal settlements to engage in more urban development projects.
With more funding be available, the program hopes to then roll out subsequent phases that will cover all 47 counties.
The objective of the Kazi Mtaani program is to provide a form of social protection for workers whose prospects for daily or casual work has been disrupted by the containment policies put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The program is also structured as a local economic recovery program which aims to restore disrupted economic activity in informal settlements while creating a public good.
The program achieves these goals by:
- Prioritizing labor-intensive approaches to EPWPs so that many people are employed (e.g. employing many young people from one of the informal settlements in a particular area)
- Utilizing local suppliers and giving preference to locally manufactured goods and services (e.g. sourcing PPEs like gumboots from local manufacturers like BATA)
- Creating public good (e.g. collecting mounds of garbage from within informal settlements and opening up clogged drainages, too).
In this way, Kazi Mtaani ensures we have cleaner environments as one way of combating the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time puts money in the pockets of the youth who are then able for fend for their families.
This program targets residents of informal settlements who are above eighteen (18) years of age and are unable to find work due to the disruption of normal economic activity. For now, the program has the added restriction of being open to youths only, though, in some areas workers above the classification of youth are recruited.
Phase I initially employed 26,148 youth drawn from select informal settlements in 8 counties. An additional 3,638 were added to the roster after Eastleigh in Nairobi City County and Old Town in Mombasa County were placed under restricted movement. There are also plans to add some more youth from Naivasha due to the massive layoffs and shutting down of flower farms.
Under Phase II of the program, the Government plans to engage 200,000 from 34 counties across the country for a period of 6.5 months.
It is envisaged that the youth will undertake skilled and unskilled activities in a bid to ensure that the program delivers value post COVID-19.
Currently, enlisted workers from Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa earn a daily wage of Kshs. 653.10 per day while workers from all other municipalities earn a daily wage of Kshs. 600.00 per day. The wages are guided by the Wage Order of 2018.
Payments are made once a week through mobile money transfer.
The youth are expected to work for a maximum of 8 hours from 8.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday, every week.
They do not provide their services over the weekends and public holidays.The maximum number of days in a month they work is 22 days in Phase I.
In Phase II of the program, in order to expand opportunities for more youth, the maximum number of days each individual worker will work in a given month is 11 days.
The key activities undertaken in Phase I include:
- street cleaning or access path clearing;
- fumigation and disinfection;
- garbage collection;
- bush clearing; and
- drainage cleaning/clearing/unclogging.
For Phase II, the program will go beyond the routine service delivery model which focused on garbage collection activities, bush clearing, etc. and focus on longer term projects that will provide benefits to communities beyond today and tomorrow.
Therefore, in Phase II, projects such as construction of access roads within informal settlements using cobblestones will be undertaken. Other interesting projects include:
- upgrade of public sanitation facilities including building public toilets, increasing wash stations, and even working to relocate water and sewer lines in places where they are exposed or pose a threat to those living in informal settlements.
- creating and paving walkways for people so that they are not walking on dusty paths and muddy areas, creating drainage within informal settlements
- creating community gardens within settlements;
- constructing green spaces and pocket parks where children can play, where land can be made available;
- repairing and refurbishing public offices, nursery schools, and community halls within informal settlements; and
- many other similar projects.
For those projects that anticipate construction, some youth will be manufacturing interlocking stabilized soil blocks (ISSBs) at the Appropriate Building Materials and Technologies (AMBT) Centers located in various constituencies across the country. These blocks will then be used to construct walls for various structure such as community halls, public toilets, dispensaries, etc.
An initial 27 settlements in the 8 counties were targeted. However, 2 additional settlements – Old Town in Mombasa and Eastleigh in Nairobi were added on to the areas benefitting from the program bring the total number of settlements to 29.
|Counties||No of Settlements||Name of Settlements|
|Nairobi||5||Kibera, Mathare, Mukuru, Korogocho, EastLeigh|
|Mombasa||4||Bangladesh, Kaa Chonjo, Ziwa la Ngombe, Old Town|
|Kiambu||5||Kiandutu, Kiangombe, Shauri Yako – Kinoo, Shauri Yako -Uthiru, Kibagare|
|Nakuru||4||Kaptembwa, Rhonda, Lakeview, London|
|Kisumu||5||Nyalenda A, Nyalenda B, Obunga, Manyatta A, Manyatta B|
|Kwale||2||White House, Karanja Estate|
|Mandera||2||Bulla Jamhuria, Shafshafey|
- The list of settlements that will benefit from the program under Phase II is still being carefully considered based on a needs assessment and will be communicated soon.
The program would like to align as much as possible with County Integrated Development Plans as well as priority areas for the Counties since the goal is to have an impact on economic recovery at a local level and graduate upwards to the economic plans for County Governments.
The counties that were selected for the pilot project were those with communities that were most affected by the Government’s responses to contain the spread of COVID-19.
A few weeks after the confirmation of the first positive case in Kenya, these areas were already beginning to bear the brunt of the government’s response strategies such as the restricted movements policies initiated to contain the spread of the virus.
With the contraction of the economy which has negatively affect many sectors, majority of low-income earners, especially those who are casuals, have lost the opportunity to earn their daily wages. Not only has this affected their ability to meet basic needs for their families, it impacted those local businesses within informal settlements that rely on their patronage to survive. As a result, the impact of losing daily work has led to more desperation for local businesses as well.
It was therefore envisaged that Kazi Mtaani would help plug those income losses by providing workers with daily wages and paying them frequently so that money can begin to circulate again within informal settlements and in this way provide for livelihoods.
The Kazi Mtaani recruitment is done through a grass root selection committee that identifies suitable workers. The selection committee is comprised of:
- Informal settlements leadership;
- Settlement Executive Committees (SECs), where they are operational;
- Nyumba Kumi leaders; and
- National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs).
Members of this committee are well versed with the localities and are known to the communities thus they are best placed to undertake this exercise. This method of selection has been used in similar projects and has proved effective in identifying qualified individuals as per the local needs assessment and projects at hand.
The registration of workers is done on a daily basis by the supervising officers from the implementing agencies and verified by the selection committee.
The people who are selected to work in the program must be Kenyan above eighteen (18) years of age, and must hold a valid Identification Card.
At present, the program is targeting youth so that opportunities are also limited to those below age of 35 years. Consideration is given to other workers especially in areas where it is difficult to find youths willing to work.
All recruited and must be able to provide a verifiable telephone number and registered for Mpesa.
Details of their ID and phone number used to register for the mobile money services must match so as to facilitate their wage payments.
The supervision of daily activities is provided by personnel from the National Youth Service and in some areas, Nyumba Kumi elders have effectively played this role.
The supervisors ensure that work schedules, safety and quality standards are met and adhered to.
The supervisors are provided with guidance from technical officers from various implementing agencies such as Kenya Urban Road Authorities (KURA) and Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) who have established standards on bush clearing and drainage unclogging activities, for instance. For garbage collection, various County (CECs) in charge of environment as well as municipal managers, in some instances, provide guidance.
Phase I of Kazi Mtaani was launched on April 29th, 2020 and ended on June 2nd, 2020 after the period of 22 days of work elapsed. The project was however, extended for an additional one month to allow for planning for Phase II to be completed.
For Phase II of Kazi Mtaani, the program will be run for six and a half months from July 2020.
The initial phase of Kazi Mtaani has been funded through existing allocations from the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project (KISIP) and the Slum Upgrading Department (SUD), both of which are under the State Department for Housing and Urban Development (SDHUD).
Additionally, the activity on the production of face masks was funded by the State Department for Petroleum through Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) who worked with the National Youth Service (NYS) to produce 1 Mn masks.
The second phase of the programme will be financed by the National Government particularly in the provision of monies to pay daily wages. The participation of County Governments will also be integrated in the program as they will provide input into priority projects; provide tools, materials, equipment, and inputs for various projects; as well as provide technical guidance for various activities.
This collaboration between National and County Governments will ensure that there is continuity, sustainability, and that the institutions mandated to provide urban service delivery are strengthened.
Phase I of Kazi Mtaani has so far disbursed a total of Kshs. 342 Mn for the first 21 days of work in the original 8 counties.
For the Eastleigh and Old Town wages, an estimated Kshs. 16.29 Mn has been paid workers for the first 10 days of work.
With the extension of the program for another month, an additional amount will be provided to the youth that have been recruited and this document will be updated accordingly.
Under Phase II, approximately Kshs. 10 Bn has been earmarked for the Program, primarily providing wages for the 200,000 recruited workers for a period of 6.5 months.