Vihiga County Women Representative Mrs. Beatrice Adagala has encouraged women and youth to form and join self help groups so as to access national government funds to enable them venture into commercial activities.
Adagala made the appeal at Mbale Municipal Grounds where she presided over a National Government Affirmative Action Funds (NGAAF) sensitization drive before she distributed cheques totaling to Sh.8,800, 000 to various women and youth groups on Friday.
Adagala decried what she described as the low turnout of women and youth groups in the county that have applied for government funds through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) Women Enterprise Fund (WEF), Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) and UWEZO Fund.
“The national government through various initiatives such as youth enterprise development fund, women enterprise fund and Uwezo fund has availed interest free loans with the sole objective of enabling women, youth and disabled access startup funds for small enterprise business projects,” pointed out Adagala.
County Member of Parliament urged locals to seize available opportunities and invest in small scale commercial activities in order to improve their sources of livelihoods as well as boost their living standards.
“The informal sector has over time become a major source of employment. Thus, the reason the national government has availed accessible interest free to enable the youths and women earn livings,” observed Adagala.
She urged youth who have completed various levels of education against focusing only on the formal sector for employment opportunities.
“We now have countrywide success stories of youths and women that are utilizing the WEF, YEDF and Uwezo Fund,” remarked Adagala as she urged the locals to apply for the affirmative action funds.
Area County Commissioner (CC) Mrs. Suzan Waweru echoed the women rep sentiments.
Waweru used the occasion and emphasized on the government’s 100 percent pupil and student transition agenda.
She appealed to parents and guardians who were yet to take students to secondary schools to do so before they were arrested.
“Vihiga has so far recorded 84 percent form enrollment as per official statistics with the Ministry of Education,” disclosed the CC who vowed to lead a crackdown against parents and guardians that were still holding bona fide students at home.
By Richard Atemi