By Munene Maina
Kiambu residents are reaping big from the Co-operative sector as many embrace societies to increase their savings and access to affordable credit facilities.
The sector is among the key drivers in the County economic growth, according to County Co-operative Commissioner Ephraim Mathenge.
The importance of the sector is the reason why the County Government came up with Kiambu County Co-operative Societies Bill 2015 intended to provide for the constitution, registration and regulation of Co-operative societies and promotion and development of Co-operatives.
Mathenge said the County Government has put measures in place to ensure every ward has at least one youth Bodaboda Sacco.
According to Mathenge, by the end of the year 2014, there were 453 registered Co-operative societies in Kiambu with membership of almost 500,000. The sector directly employs 2,794 people.
Urban and rural Saccos make majority of the Co-operatives in the county. Last year, the total turnover for the sector was over Sh12 billion and accumulative share capital of more than Sh3 billion.
The 163 urban Saccos whose membership is over 90,000 gave out over Sh6 billion as loans to members while rural Saccos loaned members Sh4.9 billion.
The County has 79 transport Saccos with a total share capital of over Sh161 million and turnover of more than Sh116 million as at December 31, 2014.
Transport Saccos issued more than Sh420 million as loans to members where over Sh327 million was repaid.
Mathenge says more strategies are in the pipeline to strengthen the sector. “We believe Co-operative societies will greatly help in eradicating poverty and enable people create wealth,” he said.