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190 Kiambu Women, Youth Groups ‘Tear gassed’ With Sh. 19 Million.

As CORD youth were busy feeding on police teargas in various parts of the country, their counterparts in Kiambu were being teargassed with a very different kind of teargas by their Women Rep Hon. Ann Nyokabi Gathecha.

About 190 Women, youth and persons living with disability groups from the entire Kiambu County benefitted from Sh. 19, 115, 000 to either start new business ventures or expand existing ones.

While addressing 80 groups from Ruiru, Juja, Thika Gatundu North and South, Gathecha said that the goal of this grant was to empower the masses in Kiambu County so as to free them from any form of financial dependency.

“I am happy today to present you with these cheques knowing quite well that this money will go a long way in alleviating poverty in our county. As others are being teargassed elsewhere for things of no benefit to them, I am glad to teargas you with financial empowerment that will change your lives and those around you for the better,” said Gathecha.

The money, derived from The National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), is a result of a long standing struggle by the Women legislators having fought for the fund for more than three years in parliament. The Treasury allocated it a meagre 0.02% of the national budget.

“Ours has been a very long journey. I am glad today we are seated here ready to enjoy that what we toiled for three years. Our baby has been delivered after undergoing a tough pregnancy stretch and we should therefore never let it go to waste.”

She warned anyone who tried to mess with this allocation that they would not be spared from the wrath of the law. She pleaded with the beneficiaries to prudently invest on the money so as to attain maximum gains.

“I want when we meet here next time, I shall be talking with the next Kiambu millionaires. I want to prove to the whole world that Kiambu people amass their wealth from sheer hard work and prudent investment. After cashing your cheques, go invest and organize your own table-banking programmes that will be focused on financial independence.”

Gathecha promised to promote their business through sourcing for markets adding that being a consumer herself, she would be their reliable consumer of their products.

These groups, which consisted of an average membership of 20 members, received grants of between sh. 60,000 and sh. 165,000.

NGAAF is a grant by the National Government ran by Women Representatives in the National Assembly to complement its programmes on affirmative action measures through a revolving fund for furtherance of economic empowerment initiatives such as but not limited to table banking, savings and credit cooperative organizations.

The money can also be used in carrying out of civic education and community sensitisation on government programmes and policies such as the 30% procurement reservations for women, youth and persons with disabilities, existence of other government social economic empowerment opportunities such as Uwezo Fund and Women Enterprise Fund as well as the establishment of rehabilitation and counselling centres for the control of drugs and substance abuse and rehabilitation of persons affected by drug and substance abuse.

In the month of May this year, 400 youth from all the 12 constituencies of Kiambu County benefited with Ksh. 5.6 million worth of scholarships that focused on self-sustaining skills geared towards direct employment. The courses that were done at Thika Technical Training Institute, included mechanical engineering, electrical, welding, plumbing, tailoring, bakery, catering, dress-making, tailoring, wiring, masonry and painting.

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