Residents of Turkana South have joined other Sub Counties in organizing an intensive two day Biashara Fund sensitization exercise, spearheaded by the County Department of Trade and Turkana Chapter National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI).
The exercise which started last week in Kainuk and its environs, brought on board various key players in the private sector and the general public.
The engagement forums entailed thorough highlights of business/biashara loan under biashara fund, requirements for applicants as well as the repayment period among other key details.
The County Deputy Director in charge of Internal Trade, Wilson Ejie, who was also the team leader, reiterated on the importance of applying for business loans as a recovery mechanism especially after the devastating effects of Covid- 19.
“The County, through the Department of Trade has been very committed in supporting the local entrepreneurs through such funding opportunities like Biashara Fund. Previously we did not have a proper legislative structure to guide issuance of this loan. Now the county has ironed out all challenges that were acting as set-backs to access of this fund and now everything has been addressed and the fund is available,” said Ejie.
In addition to the call for entrepreneurs to apply for the fund, the local NCCI Chairman, Pius Ewoton appreciated the efforts of the government in supporting the private sector.
“Vibrant private sector stimulates social economic empowerment, along the various value chains which will in one way or the other benefit the entire County,” he said.
During the various interactive sessions with the locals and traders, the collapse of businesses in Kainuk featured prominently in the conversations.
“We used to blame conflicts with our neighbouring county as a threat to the success of businesses here. Now there is peace. The main problem here is theft cases that have been targeting motorists and travelers whenever they stop to refresh themselves at Kainuk. They get robbed of their valuables and the vehicles vandalized. We have really suffered and now ready to work with stakeholders who will help us bring the issues of insecurity to an end,” said Mohamed Yussuf, a trader in Kainuk.
While responding to challenges affecting Kainuk traders, the Ewaton noted that they have already engaged with the Transport Sector stakeholders in Lodwar on the same and more plans are underway to engage with their Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counterparts to identify areas of mutual cooperation and restore sanity at the Kainuk transport stop-over, hence promoting local businesses.
“As a commitment of the chamber of commerce towards reviving the economy of Kainuk, we are going to have public private sector dialogue meeting right here to address the main issues and find a lasting solution,” the chairman reiterated.
On his part, the Director of Trade also took the opportunity during the sensitization forum to call on the traders to utilize the already constructed Lokichar market as a way of making the town more organized.
Other avenues that was also explored included using radio talk shows as well as engaging local leaders to cascade information on Biashara Fund to the village and family levels.
Other stakeholders attending the function included Administrator Trade, Justus Eregae, Ward Administrator, Hosea Ameripus, and his counterparts from Kalapata, Kaputir and Lobokat wards as well as their respective village Administrators.
By Peter Gitonga