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Gov’t rolls-out poverty alleviation programme in Murang’a

The government in partnership with the World Bank has started implementation of a programme aimed to uplift 1, 500 Murang’a residents from extreme poverty.

The programme dubbed Kenya Social Economic Inclusion Programme (KSEIP) targets to support people drawn from two sub counties of Murang’a to engage in income generating enterprises to uplift their living standards.

Currently, beneficiaries drawn from three sub locations in Murang’a East and four sub locations from Murang’a south sub counties have been identified as the Department of Social Services embarks on opening for them bank accounts from the first week of February.

Murang’a County Director of Social Services Esther Maina observed that the programme is being implemented from villages perceived to have high poverty levels.

She noted each beneficiary is slated to get Sh 30, 000 to start an enterprise which will generate income.

The beneficiaries, Maina told KNA, 25 per cent among them are individuals who are currently enlisted in various government cash transfer programmes.

“75 per cent of the beneficiaries are drawn from poor families who are yet to be enrolled in any cash transfer,” said Maina adding that the programme is expected to run up to the end of 2023 with possibility of extension for more months.

The director further noted the programme is being piloted in four other counties including Marsabit, Makueni, Taita Taveta and Kisumu.

“If the programme is implemented successfully, the government will roll it out in all other counties where the target will only be on extremely poor residents,” she added.

Maina further said the World Bank has engaged a consortium entrusted to help the beneficiaries identify viable enterprises of their choice.

“Currently mentors are being trained so as to support those who have been enlisted in the programme to identify enterprises of their choices and they will be monitored in every stage to ensure the projects are successful,” the director further divulged.

She continued: “through the consortium and Department of Social Services, the World Bank is keen to ensure the enterprises are successful as the mentors will be monitoring every step of implementation.”

Maina divulged that in effort to make the programme successful, the residents will be linked to markets saying since the beneficiaries are from poor backgrounds, they may find it hard in accessing markets for their products.

Those who are not currently in any cash transfer programme, Maina added, will be given some financial support for consumption, to avoid using the capital for the enterprise for personal expenses.

“Since the programme targets the poor, there will be a stipend of Sh 2, 000 on monthly basis to ensure the money given as capital is not directed to buy food,” she added.

The director further stated that the programme will be implemented by a multisector team assisted by two local non-governmental organisations to ensure initiated enterprises are successful.

“I hope the programme will successfully be implemented and help our people out of poverty. My appeal to those enlisted is that they should work hand in hand with the mentors and identify enterprises which are easy to implement,” she urged.

By Bernard Munyao

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