Twenty-four groups in Isiolo County have benefited from a Sh 2.4 million economic empowerment programme under the National Government Affirmative Action (NGAAF) kitty.
The groups belong to Women, youth and People Living with Disability (PWDs).
The groups drawn from across the 10 wards in the county received cheques of between Sh 100,000 and Sh 130,000 through the office of the Woman Representative Mumina Bonaya.
Ms Bonaya cautioned the beneficiaries against misappropriating the funds, saying they were meant to help them boost their existing income-generating activities or start new ones.
“The beneficiaries should ensure the money helps them generate more income and should not divert the funds to other stuff,” she said.
Among the beneficiaries were Mfinyanzi Women Group, Sky Odha Women Group, Latu Disabled Group, Daya Women Group and Ngumi Women Group.
While lamenting inadequate funds to finance all registered groups in the county, the county MP appealed to those who did not get the funding to be patient promising that they would be considered in subsequent initiatives.
“My office gets very little funding by virtue of having only two constituencies. However I am keen to ensure the little we get is well utilized and makes a difference to the intended persons,” she said while revealing that the county had over 1000 registered women groups.
Ms Mumina detached herself from claims of favoritism in the selection of groups to benefit saying she was keen on empowering Isiolo women and not rewarding her allies.
She revealed that her office was partnering with the county government to conduct fundraisers for women groups from across the county for economic empowerment.
“Starting with Burat and Ngaremara wards, we will before the end of the five-year term do harambees for women groups from all the wards where they will divide money raised amongst themselves to boost their sources of income,” she noted.
Additionally, 175 university and college learners were issued with a bursary worth Sh 1.269 million, with each student getting between Sh 5,000 and Sh10, 000 depending on the vulnerability.
The Woman Rep also called on the locals to exercise honesty while applying for bursaries as it was meant to benefit the vulnerable and needy.
“If you are able to see your children through school, please let those who cannot benefit,” she appealed.
The lawmaker also urged parents to educate their children terming education as the only equalizer and a way of economic empowerment for the region where illiteracy levels remain high.
By John Majau
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