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Soroti city receives Emyooga funds

Savings and Credit Cooperatives-SACCOs in Soroti district have each received Shs 30m under the Presidential Initiative on Job and Wealth Creation, commonly known as Emyooga.

The District Commercial Officer Soroti, George Tukei, says that fifteen SACCOs in Soroti West received Shs 30m February this year, while the SACCO leaders are yet to get Shs 50m to boost their livelihoods as directed by the President’s office.

Tukei told theCooperator that only three SACCOs within Soroti West have yet to receive the funding.

“Those that have not yet received include the fishermen’s, local leaders’ and taxi and trailer SACCOs. They have already submitted their certificates and are just waiting for the funds,” he explained.

According to the Soroti DCO, the government allocated Shs 1.1 bn to Soroti City West and East respectively, to be disbursed to 986 associations at the parish and sub-county levels across the district.

While Emyooga is supposed to be seed capital for members of small SACCO groups to borrow, invest, and payback, Tukei noted the need to train the beneficiaries on how to utilize the funds optimally. 

“Most of the people had perceived it as free money, so before the money is given to the members, they are trained on how to use it and what enterprise to select so that they are able to pay back the money without difficulty,” he said.

Use funds well

Nathan Odeke, the Chairperson of Arise Developers Majengo Wielders’ SACCO applauded the government for the initiative and appealed to the beneficiaries to put the money to good use.

He acknowledged that their group of 15 members had received Shs 4.5m, which they are supposed to pay back within one year at an interest rate of 8%.

He said that when the money came it took him time to convince members to take it after many refused to touch it on learning that it was a loan and not free as they thought.

“I had to sit them down and convince them that nothing is meant for free and that this was a good initiative for the entire group,” he said.

“We have agreed that we should meet every last Sunday of the month to see how our group is doing and whether members are compliant with repayments,” Odeke said.

In addition to the Emyooga money, Odeke told theCooperator that each member of their SACCO is obligated to contribute Shs 10,000 every Sunday so that they can improve on their livelihood through money lending which they do at an interest rate of 10%.

Rosemary Akareaut, another beneficiary, and a restaurant owner hopes to borrow some of the money from her SACCO and use it to boost her business.

“I am happy that at least my business will not have to struggle so much,” she said.

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