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KES50m loan scheme launched by Bungoma County

30 July 2014, 21:44

Bungoma - The county government has begun the disbursement of KES50 million that it had set aside to support micro and small enterprises in each of the 45 wards in the region.

The funds have been channeled to over 1800 small scale traders in the region through the County Ministry of Trade, Energy and Industrialization, under a programme dubbed Ward Trade Loan Scheme, 647 small scale women entrepreneurs are among the beneficiaries of the grants.

Speaking during the official launch of the disbursement at Chwele Market in Kabuchai Constituency, Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka said his government established the scheme to enable business persons to access cheap credit.

"We established this programme on realization that most potential entrepreneurs cannot access credit from banks due to high interest rates, lack of credit worthiness and collateral. Our objective is to facilitate fast access of loans and at very low interest," said Lusaka at the function, where he gave out cheques to successful applicants.

The governor explained that the loan only attracts a five per cent interest rate per annum to cover its administration, and the repayment period is two years. The minimum amount available from the scheme is KES10,000 and the maximum is KES100,000.

"Plans are underway to raise the maximum amount that can be borrowed from KES100,000 to KES500,000 through the County Trade Loan Scheme, whose policy we took to the county assembly and is just awaiting approval. I urge Members of the Country Assembly to fast track its approval so that our people can benefit from it," said Lusaka.

"We are also working out modalities to offer rewards for the entrepreneurs who will best utilize their loans and repay within the stipulated period or even earlier. This will deliver enormous benefits to the people of Bungoma County," he added.

He said a further KES25 million will be made available to the scheme in this financial year's supplementary budget; in order to benefit more business operators in the county who are determined to expand their enterprises.

The governor cautioned those awarded loans under the scheme against diverting their cash to unintended purposes, as it would undermine the county government's objective of reducing poverty.

Lusaka at the same time said his government was focusing on joint ventures with international of development partners towards wealth creation, noting that is the only way to realizing Bungoma County's rich agricultural and economic potential.

"Chwele is the second largest open air market in the country today and that is why we have identified it as one of the key centres where floodlights will be installed to enhance security and make it ideal for 24 hour operations. Other major towns in the country will have similar facilities" Lusaka announced.

The governor said the Chwele chicken slaughter house which has been under construction is scheduled for completion next month, and appealed to more people in the area to engage in poultry farming.

"The slaughter house has a capacity to handle over 3,000 birds per day and there is need for poultry farmers in the country to intensify their efforts , as market for their chicken will be assured once the slaughter house begins operations," said Lusaka.

Present at the launch were Deputy Governor Hillary Chongwony, Members of the County executive: Laurian Kolikho (Trade, Energy and Industrialization) Teresa Nakhungu (Tourism and Environment), Stephen Nendela (Roads and Public Works) and Stephen Kokonya(Culture, Youths and Sports Affair). A host of local (MCAs) were also present.

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