The Principal Secretary for Labour Ms Khadija Kassachoon has challenged youth, women and people with disabilities to take advantage of the various funds set aside by the national government to improve their livelihoods.
Ms Kassachoon said the government distributed millions of shillings every financial year to benefit youth, women and people with disabilities.
She said the government has been targeting the three groups through the Uwezo Fund, Women Enterprise Fund, the Youth Enterprise Funds, National Government Affirmative action fund (NGAAF).
Speaking on Saturday in Kapenguria during a one day capacity building workshop on NGAAF and access to government procurement opportunities, the PS called on youth and women in West Pokot County to embrace entrepreneurship as a way of fighting unemployment.
‘Millions of shillings have been disbursed to the sub counties and proper use by the youth, women and people living with disabilities will automatically improve their livelihoods and subsequently the economy of the county, she noted.
She pointed out that the funds are meant mainly to empower youth, women and people living with disabilities and urged them to effectively use the opportunity offered by the national government.
She added that the loans or funds are interest zero rated.
‘These loans being offered by the government are friendly to all these targeted people as they earn no interest. The aim of the government was to enable youth ,women and people with disabilities get access to loans to finance income generating activities’, said the PS.
She further challenged the county government to reserve 30% of all contracts for youth, women and people living with disabilities for them to improve their livelihoods.
She said the county government should be open during their budget making by calling meetings of all stakeholders before the start of the financial year and explain to them on how to apply for these contracts.
‘Most of these people are not aware of the 30% contracts and the best way is for the people concern in the county government to be inviting these three categories of people and explain to them their stake. Women should be given also the construction of roads and not only light work like supply of stationaries’, she pointed.
Speaking during the same meeting, the area governor Simon Kachapin blamed the managers of the funds in the county and political wing for low intake of the funds among the people intended to benefit.
Kachapin observed that majority of the people in the county are not aware of such funds despite the government disbursing millions every financial year.
The governor called for the involvement of all stakeholders, adding that there is need for proper sensitisation down to the grass root level.
‘People concerned in the management of the funds at the county or sub county level have not done enough. They have been only concentrating at the county or sub county headquarters while the majority of the beneficiaries are at the village level,’ he said.
Source: Kenya News Agency