The government in an effort to uplift the living standards of the disadvantaged in society has availed Sh 16.8 million to target beneficiaries in Saku constituency of Marsabit County.
The fund which among other objectives was created to help in alleviating poverty has seen 196 groups in the constituency access the funds between 2014 and 2017.
The county director of youth affairs Arthur Mwangi told KNA that the government kitty was experiencing problems as beneficiaries have defaulted repayment.
Mr Mwangi said that only 10 groups have made an effort to pay back the loans with the fund having recovered a mere Sh 850,000 from the sum disbursed over the period.
The county director added that the constituency received Sh 20.6 million for disbursement to youth, women and persons with disabilities groups to invest in small and medium enterprises for employment and wealth creation.
However, the beneficiaries have since gone underground and have failed to pay back the loans which are interest free.
The defaulters were first time borrowers and the constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committee (CUFMC), according to the county director, is making efforts to trace them.
He said that tracing is being done through the respective chiefs and their assistants who recommended the groups for credit advancement from the revolving kitty.
Mr Mwangi said that by failure to repay the loans, the defaulters have put a handle to those who have complied as they can’t access more credit despite Sh 3.8 million laying idle in the account.
“The members of the groups that have complied are now stuck as their subsequent funding cannot be approved due to the nonpayment by those who have dodged,” he said adding that groups should pay back and on time to enable others to benefit.
It has since emerged that CUFMC do not have the capacity to monitor and administrate the fund after the money is disbursed.
The attractive proposals presented by groups are merely a bait to get the money as the members normally withdraw and share the cash immediately it hits the account.
The programme which endeavours to tackle poverty and hunger is engrained in the vision 2030 development plan and the agenda four through job creation, wealth creation and increased food production.
By Sebastian Miriti