By Egessa Hajusu
The elderly people in Eastern Uganda have embraced savings and credit cooperatives (SACCO’S) so as to participate in the area’s social economic development.
Speaking to the Cooperator in telephone interview, John Peter Eremu Anyau the area deputy national chairperson elders league who coordinates the exercise said, the elderly have been left out and ignored because they are looked at as stale people, only waiting to die.
“We have wide experience in handling money and so we want to get involved in offering financial services, he said and noting the elderly that are still active, should be able to fend for themselves and stop relying on their overburdened children.
Some districts in the region have already been cleared by registrar’s office while others are in registration and formation processes, in the exercise which was launched last year.
The plan, Anyau said, is to enable all districts in the region have a big Sacco at a district level to address the problem of small mushrooming Sacco’s at the sub county levels.
“This will serve the purpose of efficiency, effectiveness and strength,” Anyau said adding that inadequate capital has been the main reason for the collapse of many Sacco’s. Eastern regional is comprised of of Bukedi, Busoga, Bugisu, and Sebei sub regions.
The district Sacco, Anyau said is made up of thirty elderly people from each village registered at respective sub counties as community based organisations, with a selected enterprise to undertake.
The group buys a minimum of two shares at shillings twenty thousand in addition to a membership fee of shillings ten thousand.
The membership of the elders Sacco’s, he said, is also open to the general public but the executive committees are run by people aged sixty years.
On the Sacco’s financing, Anyau said, just like other businesses in order for the Sacco’s to operate effectively and on daily basis, they will access financing from loans, grants and other sources of funding.
“We are trying to avoid a situation of entirely relying on savings from our shareholders, and avoid stagnation by waiting for the borrowed money to be brought back before new transactions begin,” he said.
District Sacco’s should be able to make profits, cater for their expenses and generate surpluses for the purposes of development.
He appealed to districts that have not completed registration to expedite the process saying commissioning of SACCO’s will soon being.
Zachariah Wanyama the chairperson Busia district elders Sacco said, their long term object is to start a Bank, medical scheme and create centers where the elderly can be taken care off.