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Sh60m Nyeri Muslim project to help poor faithful, pay clergy

The Nyeri Muslim Waqf Project. [Ishaq Jumbe, Standard]

For the last 10 years, Islamic religious institutions have formed the trend of constructing residential endowment buildings to earn some financial returns.

Nyeri Muslim Mosque Association has led the way with its ambitious Sh60 million Waqf project. The building is adjacent to the mosque in Majengo slum, Nyeri County.

Nyeri Muslim Mosque Association Chairman Abubakar Khamis said the county has 15 mosques funded by well-wishers.

Abubakar said upon completion, the five-storey endowment building will generate a tidy monthly income. “The money can help us initiate projects,” he said.

The project has, however, experienced financial challenges after the Covid-19 pandemic struck two years ago.

During the pandemic, lockdowns made it impossible to hold physical fundraisers due to a ban on public gatherings by the government. Luckily, though, the project did not stall after its construction committee initiated an aggressive online campaign to raise funds.

One of the biggest challenges facing the Nyeri Muslim community is poverty and illiteracy, especially among the youth.

According to leaders in the community, jobs are also hard to come by. Despite the challenges, the leaders said most Muslims in Nyeri, especially those living in slums, have worked hard to build small businesses.

Abubakar said the building will, among other things, cater for salaries of the clergy and lay staff while funding community needs, such as health and education.

The project is a collaboration involving three organisations; the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem), Islamic Dawa’h Group and Nyeri Muslim Mosque Association.