Youth, Women and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Kisumu County have benefitted from Sh24, 260, 000 revolving fund loans in a bid to venture into income generating activities.
The loan facility that was disbursed to the beneficiaries on Tuesday is a product of the County Youth, Women and Persons with Disabilities Enterprise Development Fund derived from the Kisumu County Youth, Women and Persons with Disabilities Act 2015.
According to area Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o who officiated the disbursing of the loans, Kisumu was the first County to pass this Act to help women, youth and PWDs who have been facing hurdles in accessing affordable loans.
“Kisumu is blazing the trail in addressing issues affecting vulnerable groups specifically the PWDs,” revealed Nyong’o.
Some 659 groups from across the county will benefit from the funds. These include 328 and 292 Youth and Women groups respectively while PWD groups slotted for the share are 39.
Initially, the loans are capped at Sh50, 000 per group but upon successful repayment, a group is entitled for up to Sh500, 000.
The loan beneficiaries will enjoy favorable and flexible terms. The annual interest rate for Women and Youth segments will be 5 per cent while the PWDs will be charged only 3 per cent.
Besides, the loanees would enjoy two months grace period before they can start servicing the loan that is repayable within a year.
The funds come in handy as micro-loans to borrowers who typically lack collateral, steady employment, and verifiable credit history.
“It is designed not only to support entrepreneurship and alleviate poverty, but also to empower the neglected groups of the society,” said Nyong’o.
The CEC for Education, ICT and Human Capacity Development Mr John Awiti said that the finances have been released at the right time after all the beneficiaries underwent a prerequisite training on how to manage the revolving funds.
“Members of the benefiting groups across all the seven Sub Counties have been trained on proper management of the disbursed funds, positive attitude change on revolving fund and improved adherence to positive financial culture. Also, they have been trained on enhanced socio-economic well-being at family and county level,” said Awiti.
Nyong’o, however, noted that his government is keen on supporting members of all vulnerable groups to enhance their entrepreneurship skills as a strategy for poverty reduction and the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGG 5) on Economic and Gender Equality.
“Entrepreneurship is one of the main pathways for women’s Youths and PWDS economic empowerment because it has ‘multiplier effects’ on family well-being, poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth,” he said.
The county in partnership with other stakeholders are working to establish the County Gender Mainstreaming Policy, which will provide broad objectives and policy commitments, towards the achievement of gender equality and women empowerment.
In order to economically empower women in the lakeside county, Nyong’o hailed his leadership for appointing women to some key positions and intimated that he would soon appoint more as County Executive Committee members, Chief Officers and even directors.
Women, youth and PDWs have been brutally hit by Covid-19 pandemic thus grossly interfering with their economic activities.
The governor revealed that they have prepared a Covid-19 recovery strategy paper to guide on cushioning residents against the ravages of the pandemic.
By Robert Ojwang’