Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya has said 67 per cent of the population of Kwale County has been severely affected by coronavirus.
Speaking at three different functions, Mvurya said more than 6,000 people had lost jobs in the tourism sector alone.
Addressing the press at the Mvindeni county offices and later at the Kwale Country Headquarters where he received delegations of Permanent Secretaries (PSs), the governor said the county had taken steps to help those affected.
“We have distributed foodstuff worth Sh14.5 million to the most vulnerable families and built a covid-19 center at the Msambweni hospital. We continue to test and quarantine people including at our borders with Tanzania and Mombasa county,” he said.
Mvurya thanked the national government for initiating the National Hygiene Programme (NHP) dubbed “Kazi Mtaani” initiative where 1,000 youth drawn from Matuga and Msambweni sub counties were engaged.
“As the first phase of the project comes to an end and with the second phase about to start, we ask that it is expanded to include youth from Lunga Lunga and Kinango sub-counties,” he said.
The governor hailed the inaugural hygiene programme championed by the national government saying his county is getting a major facelift through the massive clean-up effort.
He said from the inception of the programme that was initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta his administration has worked very closely with the national government to ensure that this programme is a success.
“The youths have engaged in environmental cleaning exercises and unclogging the drainage systems and moving forward we intend to make this program much more sustainable” he said.
Permanent Secretaries Charles Hinga (Housing and Urban Development) and his Petroleum counterpart Andrew Kamau who paid a courtesy call on the Governor announced that Kwale County had emerged the best among the eight counties in the Kazi Mtaani programme.
The PSs led a monitoring and evaluation team on Saturday to check on the progress of the youth empowerment initiative in the region.
“We wish to announce that Kwale is the best in implementing the programme. We will therefore increase the slots for the phase two,” said Hinga, adding that it was due to governor’s good leadership that this had been achieved.
“Out of the eight counties where this programme is ongoing we can confidently say Kwale is the best because it did not look the youth project as one driven by the national government but welcomed it and supported it wholeheartedly,” said Hinga.
The Housing PS promised to consider Mvurya’s request to expand the programme to Lunga Lunga and Kinango. The pilot phase one project was conducted in Matuga and Msambweni sub-counties.
The national hygiene programme which is on a trial basis is being rolled out simultaneously in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kwale, Kilifi and Mandera counties which are identified as Covid-19 hotspots.