The Nairobi Metropolitan Services has hired street children and families to take part in the city’s restoration exercise.
NMS which celebrated 100 days with President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 30, has started repairing roads in the CBD among them Kirinyaga Road that is in Grogan area.
The street families and children have been given the opportunity to work as casuals and receive Ksh600 daily.President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) speaks Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja (in white) during a tour of Nairobi Metropolitan Services's projects in Nairobi's informal settlements on Tuesday, June 30, 2020File
Some of the roads and walk paths were set for recarpeting while some would receive a facelift by changing the surface altogether.
Julia Nduta, one of the casual workers at the Kirinyaga Road site stated that she had been sleeping in the streets for 7 years and is thankful for her job.
"A woman approached us after observing us for a while. She absorbed us into the workforce and at least now we can fend for ourselves," she narrated.
Some were hired to help repair walk paths with bricks manufactured at Clay Works Limited in Ruiru while the rest joined the construction teams focusing on the roads.
The homeless in Nairobi have been bearing the brunt of Covid-19 with concerns being raised about the shortage of state-run shelters.
According to a national census of street children and families carried out in 2018, Kenya has a total of 46,639 street families and street children.
Tony Junior, a street child who was interviewed by journalists in June, stated that reduced hotel activity had resulted in them sleeping hungry.
"Before the pandemic, restaurants would give us their surplus meal before closing but most of them closed shop after experiencing reduced foot traffic. My friends and I have been having it rough since then," he explained.
Concerns have also been raised about how they are exposed to the virus, not being able to afford masks or sanitary products. Without anywhere to call home, street families have also not been abiding by the containment measures such as the curfew.
"We often find ourselves on the wrong side of the law since containment measures were instituted by the government but the police have never assaulted us, in reality, they hand us food and even face masks, our moods are lifted by their efforts to help us," added Junior.President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and NMS General Mohammed Badi.
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