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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 16 February 2015

Kiambu youth garbage demo bears fruits

Kiambu county government has assured youth who have been collecting garbage in Ruiru town that it has no plans to privatise the garbage collection programme to deny them means of a livelihood. The assurance was made by county chief officer in charge of public services and administration Dominic  Gicharu.
The officer was reacting to a recent demonstration by the youth to the Ruiru subcounty offices where they expressed fear that the county government was out to ruin them by closing the pipe that feeds them. According to the youth umbrella group Green Committee Association chairman Francis Wainaina Njuguna, they have always partnered with the government in garbage collection and environmental conservation for the last three years.
He lamented that on January 22, the county government took it upon itself to start collecting garbage in town, a core responsibility they had been entrusted with hence denying them their daily bread. He claimed Ruiru subcounty public health officers and environmentalists had colluded to privatise garbage collection and had identified a private company to do so yet the youth were there to do the work.
However, reacting to the claims, Gicharu assured the youth that their job was secure. “We in the government believe the future of Kiambu lies with our youth. That is why we are encouraging them to form groups and apply for Uwezo, Women and Youth Funds to start sustainable projects and accelerate the economic base of our county. They should also come for the 30pc tender procurement slots,” said Gicharu.
On the fate of Ruiru market, Gicharu concurred that the market was in a deplorable state. “You are aware we inherited the market and other facilities from the defunct local authorities. That is why we have to increase market levies by Sh10 on a market day to be able to collect enough cash that will translate in proper service delivery in our markets,” he stressed.
He said once Kiambu Assembly approves the pending supplementary budget in the house, a major facelift of Ruiru Market and all markets in the county will be undertaken. This, he said, would include market expansion, provision of mast lights, electricity, water, adequate toilets, perimeter walls, security and that general clean-up would be focused on.
He said every penny collected as levies from the market will be ploughed back to the facilities to enhance service delivery to citizens. “We want to create a palatable environment for traders,” said Gicharu.