Kisumu CEC lauds cooperatives for transforming lives

Kisumu cooperatives

Kisumu County Executive Committee Member (CEC) for Trade, Tourism, Industry and Cooperatives Farida Salim has lauded the cooperative movement for positively impacting on the economic stability of their membership.

Salim, who was the chief guest during the county’s Ushirika Day celebrations, said the movement had experienced tremendous growth in terms of increased membership and savings.

She lauded the cooperatives for gradually responding to the fast changes in the financial environment and adopting new approaches to the cooperative model.

Salim said most Saccos are opening their common bonds to accommodate other business sectors and informal groups.

“Opening of the common bond has enabled cooperatives to manage risks, enforce lending contracts and reduce the transaction costs of delivering credit,” she stated.

The CECM lamented that because very few people save regularly in Saccos hence in comparison with other counties, Kisumu lacks the capacity of building a strong foundation in the cooperative movement.

She advised cooperatives to share ideas with each other.

“Share and learn from one another how to sustain your societies. Most importantly, organize more member education and training forums to enhance financial literacy among members.

Farida urged the employees of several light industries in the area such as fish processing plants and agricultural produce processors to take development loans through their Saccos

Kisumu County Director of Cooperatives Miriam Awili noted that there is need for capacity building of both the management and the members of cooperative societies

“As a directorate we plan to roll out an aggressive capacity building exercise for cooperatives. in collaboration with several government agencies and private entities,” she said.

The cooperative director lamented over high loan defaults as it creates bad precedence, erodes liquidity and denies the societies an opportunity to meet members’ expectations.

She reported that the national government, through SASRA, is soon putting in place measures to fight the loan defaulter issue.

The director lamented that mismanagement has led to constant wrangles in some Saccos and that the issue must be discouraged by all means for the society to meet its core objective to members.

Kisumu County Ushirika Day Celebrations Chairman Edward Matoke advised cooperatives on the need to have workable and practical financing programmes for members’ provident needs.

He asked them to adopt fair policy on lending and collection and to work on vigorous members’ savings programmes and good products including effective programmes for building up cooperative capitalization.

“I wish to urge our cooperatives to enhance their systems to improve management and governance so that members can get the best value from their membership. This will in turn help in building trust and confidence in the cooperative movement,” advised Matoke.

The County Ushirika Chairman noted that they have high expectations in the new Kisumu County Co-operative Policy since it will address issues affecting the movement in the county.

He added that the sector also needs a kit that can assist ailing co-operatives societies.

By Erick Nyayiera

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