The Machakos County Government has set up a Sh45 million revolving fund for People with Disabilities (PWDs) and women, County Executive Committee Member (ECM) for Gender, Youth, Sports and Social Welfare John Kilonzo has said.
Kilonzo said the kitty will provide accessible and affordable credit to support women and PWDs to finance businesses and create sustainable livelihoods.
He said the county government is in the final stages of establishing the fund which is expected to be operational by February next year.
“We are at the tail end of finalizing the regulations and policies at the County Assembly that will guide the administration of the fund. The process will be through by the end of January and we expect to start receiving applications for the funds by February,” said Kilonzo.
Speaking on Monday at the Machakos Social Hall during celebrations to mark the International Day of Disabled Persons Kilonzo also commissioned a 12-member PWD board to deepen and strengthen areas of support for the PWDs.
The ECM reiterated the county government’s commitment to empowering PWDs in the county and said the board will help the county mainstream PWDs in the devolved unit’s programs to foster equity and inclusivity.
“We want PWDs to be mainstreamed in programs relating to agriculture, education, and social welfare. The board has been given the responsibility to enhance support for PWDs to ensure equity and inclusivity,” said Kilonzo.
The ECM also disclosed that besides the PWD and women’s kitty, the county government will also establish another revolving fund that will provide credit financing to individuals and groups.
Kilonzo said the Sh40 million fund dubbed ‘Wikwatyo Fund’ will be open to everyone.
“The setting up of the fund is also in the final stages and we encourage members of the public to apply for the money once the fund is operational in February,” he said.
Chairperson Machakos County Disability Network Francis Kasyoki speaking at the same event called on both the national government and county governments to offer jobs to PWDs as a way of empowering them.
Kasyoki noted that the constitutional requirement of giving 5 percent of job opportunities in the public sector to PWDs was not adhered to and called for the implementation of the affirmative action.
“Even the procurement opportunities set aside to PWDs are yet to be realised. As people with disabilities we are calling for inclusivity in all sectors,” he said.
By Roselyne Kavoo