KIBUKU. Kibuku women have mobilised each other into a savings group that has since transformed their livelihoods.
Formed in 2016, Akuseka Takuwa Kagumu Women Saving and Credit Association in Kagumu Sub-county, Kibuku District was initiated with the objective of fighting household poverty and unemployment.
Then, the women sought better ways of improving their house-hold incomes.
Ms Wurita Nahisama, the chairperson of the Sacco, says their major objective was to make women self-reliant since most of them were living in poverty and lacked financial support from their husbands.
“The Sacco started with a small number of about 154 members. The numbers have now increased to 350,” she says.
Ms Nahisama adds that women were negative about the idea when it was first introduced to them.
Shunning the idea
“Whenever we could call women to join us, they could shun but we are happy that they have started understanding the importance of saving,” she says.
Ms Rehema Hassan, another member, testifies that it is through the Sacco that she is able to generate enough capital and fend for her family.
The group members meet every Friday to either make deposits or borrow and each determines how much amount they are comfortable borrowing or saving.
“I save and borrow and because of this, I have managed to open up a retail shop. I no longer wait for my husband to come home before I can buy sugar or any other domestic item,” she says.
Ms Rehema says in order to expand their sources of income, they have invested in alternative activities such as soap and crafts making.
“This has been instrumental in improving our livelihoods and our personal financial stability,” she says.
The association’s capital investment stands at Shs4.5m as savings and Shs4.2m advanced as loans to members.
Ms Loy Madundu, another member, is happy to have saved more than Shs1m having invested the borrowed money.
Ms Petwa Naula also narrates that she invested in agriculture and it has paid off.
The Kibuku District Woman MP, Ms Jennipher Namuyangu, who also doubles as State minister for Local Government, says she is happy that majority of women have embraced Saccos and are saving diligently.
“I took the mantle to encourage women to form groups which have turned into bigger Saccos where they can realise more output,” she says.
She, however, urges men to also adopt a culture of saving through community village Saccos.
“The best way people could scale down the prevailing high levels of poverty is for the people to have that culture of savings. But soon or later the situation will change because women have overwhelmingly embraced SACCOs compared to men,” she says.