Small scale traders in Baringo central will be given seed capital by the National government to cushion them from effects of COVID-19 global pandemic that has crippled their businesses.
Area MP, Joshua Kandie who made the statement on Tuesday during an impromptu visit to Kabarnet town market said the economic programme which was passed recently in parliament will also benefit traders in all the constituencies in Kenya.
“It has been projected that after the COVID-19 pandemic, majority of the small scale traders in Kenya will be unable to sustain their businesses and that is why the national government has come in to seal the loophole,” said Kandie.
He encouraged the traders to continue running their businesses despite this hard economic time occasioned by the COVID-19 global pandemic, saying their businesses shall be well as soon as they get the funds.
Kandie also told the traders that the national government will soon give out guarantor free loans so as to enable each one of them to access the credit funds for boosting their small scale businesses which contribute to 30 percent of Kenya’s economy and creates over 80 percent of new jobs.
The legislator noted that the guarantor free loans will be of great help at this period of COVID-19 in which many small scale traders have had their businesses ‘down its knees’ because of low sales resulting from low production and supply.
“I urge you especially women traders not to hesitate in taking the guarantor free loans to be provided by government by July this year. The loans will enable you sustain your businesses,” he said.
The MP also told youth to prepare to get government jobs through an economic programme dubbed “Kazi Mtaani Initiative” meant to help unemployed youth to recover economically following COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the economy hard.
“We passed the Bill on Kazi Mtaani Intitiative in Parliament whereby we unanimously agreed that beginning July this year the programme entailing cleanup services which has been benefiting only major towns like Nairobi shall be extended to all constituencies in Kenya,” said Kandie.
He praised his colleagues for re-adjusting the Kazi Mtaani Initiative bill which has now factored in all the constituencies saying each region in Kenya had many needy people which cannot be managed by county governments alone.
During the impromptu visit at Kabarnet market, Kandie handed over his personal donation of 30 sacks of maize and hundreds of face masks for the traders to distribute amongst themselves.
He lauded them for observing the COVID-19 health protocols that include wearing of facemasks.
Traders at the market lauded the MP for visiting them with the good news about their welfare plans by the national government saying they are spending a lot of time and money sourcing for goods especially food to sell to members of the public.
The traders who were flanked by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Baringo branch chair, Elisha Kiplagat thanked the MP for visiting them at this COVID-19 season whereby they feel abandoned by leaders whom they claim avoided them in the cover of keeping social distance.
By Vincent Miningwo/Christopher Kiprop