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Kakamega residents urged to join cooperatives

By Innocent Tsalwa | July 4th 2017

Kakamega County residents have been urged to form new cooperatives and join the existing ones to steer development.

The County CEC Member for Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock and Cooperatives, Kulati Wangia, said SACCOs and cooperatives were an integral part for any person to achieve their development goals.

He spoke during the 95th United Nations International Day of Cooperatives popular as Ushirika Day where he graced the event that drew SACCOs in the County at Bukhungu Stadium on July 1, 2017. This year’s theme was “Inclusion.”

He noted that majority of people in the county and in the larger western region had not utilized cooperatives due to lack of adequate knowledge.

He also stated that poor leadership, records keeping, accountability and envy have been the major reasons that contributed to the collapse of some cooperatives.

He advised SACCOs in the county should emulate how their counterparts in other counties such as Meru, Murang’a and Nairobi who have managed well and flourished in the cooperatives.

He further lauded cooperatives in the county for reducing poverty levels and enhancing value addition to the processes in the agricultural sector for sustainable food production for the population.

The Cooperative Alliance of Kenya (CAK) president Mr. Stanley Muchiri, who in a speech read by Mr Kulati, said implementation of development plans in Kenya remains a challenge, characterized by poor infrastructure, over regularization of trade and marketing, unemployment, terrorism, corruption and lack of coordinated approach to market.

He said that cooperate business model is the final frontier to the recurrent problems Africa faces.

“We need long term investment and create equal economic benefit to the people and social wealth by popularizing cooperate business model,” read the speech by Muchiri.

Cooperative societies in the county held a procession from Muliro Gradens to Bukhungu Stadium before beginning the celebrations.

The Chairperson of District Cooperative Development Committee (DCDC), Mr Thomas Adula, said the cooperatives movement in the county has experienced challenges mainly non-remittance of outstanding money by the defunct local authorities, liabilities which were to be taken by the respective County Government.

He urged cooperatives to mainstream women and youths balance in the cooperatives activities as enshrined in the constitution to achieve this year’s theme.

Some of the most outstanding cooperative societies that stood out in this year’s celebrations included Invest and Grow Sacco (I & G), Western Shuttle Sacco, Kakamega County Women Sacco, Wevarsity Sacco, Bunge Sacco, County Fish Farmers Sacco and Mudete Tea factory Sacco.

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