By Alexander Okori
A total of 36 savings and credit co-operatives (SACCOs) have collapsed in Katakwi district due to poor saving culture, poor governance and mismanagement of funds, The Cooperator News has discovered.
The district had 40 registered SACCOs, they formed in 2006 when the government introduced prosperity for all scheme loosely translated in Luganda as “Bonna Bagaggawale”.
The five-year program was anchored on the Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs). Whereas SACCOs are thriving at the same time struggling in other districts of Uganda, in the entire Katakwi district only four are surviving.
The surviving saving institutions, according to Mr. Todi include; Katakwi Teachers’ SACCO, Engarakinobonik SACCO, Toroma Women Empowerment SACCO, and Katakwi High School Employees’ SACCO. All these saving and credit cooperatives are located in urban areas.
Asked why SACCOs in the district are collapsing at a high rate, Todi mentioned low savings, mismanagement of funds and cases of un-serviced loans by borrowers as some of the factors contributing to the downfall of these saving institutions.
“There are serious cases of accountability which prompted most people to quit their SACCO groups. It will now take time for leaders to convince people to join SACCO groups again,” Todi said.
Meanwhile, he urged SACCO managers in collaboration with his office to intensify sensitization on financial literacy with the aim of inculcating the saving culture in people since the spirit is still lacking among the members of the public.
He said that those thriving SACCO’s depend on the principle that they normally encourage their members to save and buy shares in order to get some interests and guarantee sustainability.
“Convincing people to buy shares and save with us has worked wonders because this is what has made us reach this far,” said Todi.