Savings and Credit Cooperatives Organizations (SACCOs) leaders are encouraging youth to join financial institutions to strengthen their economic muscle as Covid-19 continues to hammer the economy.
Hazina Sacco chairman Evans Kibagendi says that the youth have suffered a lot as the effects of the coronavirus continued to derail economic growth thus denying them an opportunity to make ends meet.
“Owing to limited opportunities following the disruption of the economy by the pandemic, youth have suffered greatly thus leading to low economic production,” noted Kibagendi.
He said that the youth were not known in terms of having a saving culture and thus, as a Sacco, Hazina is urging them to form small groups and start saving the little they earn from the menial jobs.
“We have developed products geared towards youth and they stand a good opportunity to benefit,” said Kibagendi.
However, he noted that youth already in Saccos were benefiting a lot as they were able to meet their financial obligations and equally invest in other economic sectors.
He urged the youth to take advantage of the low interest rates offered by the Saccos and numerous and unique products to suit their current lifestyles.
Most Saccos advance loans at one per cent interest rate on a reducing balance while interest rates on most of their products are charged at between one per cent and 15 per cent.
He made the remarks at Makina ward, Kibra constituency Saturday when donating water tanks that will be manned by the youth group to help the local community in responding to the measures put in place in the fight against Covid-19.
“We know the challenge of water and as a Sacco we will be providing water to the tanks up to November. We have also partnered with Raila Education Centre who will also be providing the tanks with water time after time,” he said
He pledged that the Sacco would also donate more water tanks to other deserving Kenyans in Mombasa and Homa Bay among other counties.
The chairman of Kibra Lives Youth Group Said Ahmed concurred with the Sacco leaders’ plea saying to majority of young people, saving culture is alien as they were interested in easy things thus they continued to experience financial challenges.
“With the little we earn from the unskilled jobs, we are more interested in impulse buying and unnecessary spending and thus ending up not meeting our daily financial obligations. However, after years of toiling we have resolved to register with Hazina Sacco and start saving with an aim of investing in other economic sectors,” said Ahmed.
Ahmed stated that the water project would help in ensuring the local community washes regularly as part of safety measures outlined by the Ministry of Health to fight the spread of coronavirus.
Hazina Sacco Chief Executive Officer Dickson Okungu confirmed that like any other credit union, his institution has suffered due to the effects of the pandemic.
“We have been able to manage the situation and recently have started witnessing progress in terms of the revenue building up as well as loan uptake. We have restructured Sh4 million worth loans,” said Okungu.
By Wangari Ndirangu