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Uhuru unveils additional relief programme

By Fredrick Obura | April 25th 2020
President Uhuru Kenyatta at a past function (PHOTO: PSCU)

President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced additional relief measures to cushion Kenyans during the Coronavirus pandemic.

During the fifth presidential briefing, he a National Hygiene Programme, which will commence on Wednesday, April 29.  It will create jobs while making the environment healthier.

The first phase of the programme for the next thirty days will employ 26,148 workers and eventually grow to over a hundred thousand young people.  The initiative will feed into the 108,000 vulnerable households presently receiving direct cash grants, and the Senior Citizens programme. According to the president, the inaugural cluster of employment under the programme will involve residents in 23 informal settlements, spread across seven counties.

“I am profoundly conscious of the economic and livelihood distress many Kenyans are feeling. This is why we are going to continue to roll out initiatives that offer relief, particularly to the youth and families in distress,” he said.

“To demonstrate the principles of this approach — the making of face-masks will be undertaken by 4,048 tailors residing in those settlements.  For their neighbourhoods, they will make up to 250,000 masks per day. This intervention stimulates the local economy while advancing our war against the coronavirus,” he said.

The project will be rolled out in phases to ensure that those being employed work under proper health standards and protocols that limit the risk of infection.

The government is also undertaking steps towards post-coronavirus economic recovery plan.  He disclosed that government shall activate micro, small and medium enterprises across the country to manufacture basic medical equipment and supplies for domestic use and export.

The initiative shall be nested under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda and will utilise Sh1.5 Billion.  “The Jua-Kali Sector shall take centre-stage in production while leveraging our Technical Vocational Education Training Centres and the Constituency Industrial Development Centres.”

So far, Kenya has tested over seventeen thousand samples (17,492) and are proceeding with mass targeted testing.  The progress is guiding policy decisions

“We will allow a few restaurants and eateries that show the highest levels of health regulation compliance, and the ability to arrange for employee testing, to undertake minimal operations while maintaining measures that mitigate against the spread of the coronavirus.”  

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