The Meru County Government has allocated Sh100 million to lay the foundation for its very own youth service that will recruit about 1500 young people early next year.
The Meru Youth Service (MYS), fashioned after the National Youth Service (NYS), will include paramilitary and technical training with recruits set to be engaged in manual and skilled labour activities across the county.
Meru Youth Affairs and Sports Executive, Daniel Kiogora, said the youths will be enrolled in local polytechnics and participate in a savings scheme through the Meru County Microfinance Corporation.
"We are in the process of preparing the relevant bill and policy document for approval by the County assembly. We expect to roll out the programme in March next year after the public and MCAs have given their input in the programme. The target is to recruit 1500 young people in March," Mr Kiogora said Tuesday.
Through the supplementary budget set to be approved by the County Assembly this week, the executive has also allocated Sh900 million for ward development projects and Sh80 million for a free milk programme for nursery school pupils.
Partner with NYS
He said the County is partnering with the NYS to roll out the ambitious programme.
"We are in talks with the Ministry of Youth and the NYS for expertise in implementing the Meru Youth Service programme. Our plan is to help the youth get jobs once they are through with the service," the county executive said today.
According to Governor Kiraitu Murungi's manifesto, the MYS will have branches in all sub-counties and employ thousands of young people in labour-intensive rural programmes such as afforestation, urban beautification, environmental conservation and water projects.
Mr Murungi earlier said each recruit in the MYS programme will earn a daily wage of Sh400.
In its report on the supplementary budget, the County Assembly Budget and Appropriations committee called for development of sound structures to ensure that its projects are sustainable.
Some of the plans underway include Sh620 million set aside to drill 100 boreholes and another Sh153 million on community water projects.
The County also plans to spend Sh40 million to construct a palatial home for the Governor, Sh30 million for the Deputy Governor and Sh20 million for the Speaker's residence.
The Sh10.5 billion supplementary budget will see Meru spend Sh3.15 billion on development, Sh4.162 billion on salaries and Sh3.2 billion on goods and services.