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Poverty Looms As Kiambu Youths Plead With Gov’t To Reopen Innovation Hub Providing Free Internet

Youth in Limuru Sub County in Kiambu have been braving the cold to go and work online at the perimeter wall of the innovation hub that they were used to, before the presidential order to shut down all institutions in March and for people to work from home.

The innovation hub has been a haven for many unemployed youth who reported daily to work online while using the free internet provided by the government. However, following the work from home orders, the facility was closed and the youth from around the area, had their main resource to work online, cut off.

The youth have therefore resorted to report to the facility in the early mornings, and while observing all protocols put in place such as wearing a mask and social distancing, they align themselves along the perimeter walls and get to work.

Antony Mwangi, one of the youths who spoke to the Kenya News Agency (KNA), said he was anxious to get back to work and resume his normal lifestyle as he was tired of staying indoors. “I was used to waking up in the morning and coming to work on-line here because of the free internet which is not available at our home,” he said as he posed to complete what he was doing

Mwangi said the administrators of the hub should sympathize with the youth of the region and consider reopening the facility as they were well aware of the Corona virus pandemic, and are willing to take the appropriate preventive measures to stay safe even as they work.

He admitted that although the weather was quite unfriendly, the thought of sleeping on a hungry stomach was severe.

Joseph Nderitu also joined in the call to reopen the hub. According to him, the facility has ample seating space within the compound

“It is not a must that we sit inside the hub, but we can arrange seats within the compound and work as we worked before.

He echoed Mwangi’s sentiments that poverty would soon catch up with him and the rest of the youth who rely on the free internet to work online

“For how long shall we remain locked up in the houses? Who will put food on the table for adults like us when our parents were now relying on us?” he posed.

Nderitu also noted that although the government was putting in place measures to contain the Corona Virus, it should come up with solutions to cushion young people who rely on online work.

Online jobs have become a source of livelihood for many unemployed youth countrywide. Many have been able to eke a living and provide for themselves. The hub at Kiambu provided free internet which is very expensive if they have to buy bundles daily.

The hub was the most vibrant within the county where a big number of the youth had been trained to work online, and were in turn imparting the same knowledge to their counterparts in the villages.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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