In the past two years, thousands of youth have gained employment through the Government of Kenya initiative dubbed Kazi Kwa Vijana Project. The project has now received a boost from the World Bank, which has committed to fund the Project for the next four years, starting July 2010.
KKV will now be known as Kenya Youth Empowerment Program, and in a few days time, it will be officially launched through the Prime Minister’s office. KFS is one of the Government Parastatals which will benefit from this scheme, through the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife. There are five other line Ministries that will be involved, namely Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Regional Development, Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Roads.
According to the Project Coordinator Mr. Lawrence Kuria, KFS will receive Ksh. 75 million during the first year, and this amount is expected to increase in subsequent years. The World Bank has identified five districts to pilot the program, and these are Nairobi, Nakuru, Kakamega, Migori, Mombasa, Machakos, Wajir and Kiambu. These districts consist of regions with the highest number of unemployed youth, and one district has been selected from each Province.
KFS intends to engage a total of 18,500 youth who will take part in plantation establishment, seedling production and rehabilitation of degraded areas. One criteria for utilizing the funds is to ensure 80 percent of the money is spend on paying the youth and only 20 percent is committed to logistical activities.
A World Bank mission from New York is expected to visit the country at the end of February, to assess the implementation of projects and Dondori Forest in Nakuru Forest Zone has been identified as one of the two locations that the team will visit.
Report by Ann Kaari (Communications Officer KYEP)