Women, Youth, persons living with disability in Narok County have been challenged to apply for the Uwezo Fund in a bid to boost their level of income.
The county Uwezo Fund officer Mr. Joash Ratemo said the government will give money to all organized groups who apply for the fund so as to expand their businesses or start new businesses.
Ratemo who spoke from his office Thursday lamented that the rate of applying for the fund was still low in the county as many groups were not willing to follow the procedures set in a bid to benefit from the funds.
“The money is given to the Kenyan citizens who have formed a registered group. The groups should consist of not less than seven persons and registered by the Social Services department,” said Ratemo.
He observed that groups which have been applying and refunding the money have had an added advantage because they keep on getting more money when they apply for it.
“When a group applies for the first time, it gets between Sh. 50, 000 to Sh. 100, 000. The amount keep on growing when the members refund the interest free money,” said Ratemo.
He said about Sh. 18 million has been disbursed in the county since the year 2015 to various organized women, Youth and Persons Living With Disability groups.
“It is possible for those over 35 years old to benefit from the fund as they can join the youth or women groups provided they are not more than 30 percent of the group composition,” he said.
The Uwezo Fund officer however lamented of laxity in paying back the money saying only Sh. 5 million out of Sh. 18 million has been repaid since the year 2015 when the fund was first disbursed.
“The money which is interest free is a revolving fund and the beneficiaries are expected to repay it in two years’ time so that they can get a higher amount,” said Ratemo.
Maendeleo ya Wanawake – Narok Chapter Chairlady Ms. Ronah Nkoiwa said many women in the grassroots are still living in poverty with no idea of how to access cheap loans from the government.
“I urge women from all parts of the county to form groups to access the money that can help them start small scale farming like poultry, goat rearing and bee keeping,” she said.
By Ann Salaton