Kenya: Kilifi Women, Youth-Led Businesses Get Much-Needed Boost

19 September 2020

Kilifi County Assembly has, since 2013, passed 23 laws to attract investors, improve service delivery and livelihoods of its 1.4 million residents.

The county government is trying to empower women, youth and people living with disability using the Kilifi Microfinance Fund, popularly referred to as the Mbegu Fund.

Governor Amason Kingi said the passing of the Mbegu Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2020 has enabled the county to assist women and youth in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) .

"To ensure the MSMEs sector is fully empowered and supported, we allocated Sh105 million for the kitty and, to date, Sh94 million has been disbursed to 573 groups and co-operatives to boost their businesses," said the governor during his address to the County Assembly.

Disburse Sh201 million

Mr Kingi said his administration will disburse Sh201 million to groups and co-operatives and later extend it to individuals.

"This financial year, we are rolling out lending to individuals in addition to group and co-operative loans, asset financing and LPO financing currently being offered. The LPO financing products provide opportunity to women and youth to do business," he added.

Mr Kingi said the enactment of the Solid Waste Management Act 2019 saw the Environment Department increase its collections from 40 per cent to 70 per cent through engagement of private collectors in Malindi and Mtwapa.

"The county has also purchased solid waste compactors, 35 medium-sized plastic garbage bins and 40 waste bins for effective solid waste management," he said.

In 2015, the assembly passed the Water and Sanitation Services Act, 2015 which came into operation in 2016, boosting tourism activities in Malindi, Watamu, Kilifi and Mtwapa.

Soil conservation

The Water and Sanitation Services Act, 2015 provides for water and sanitation services to rural and urban areas, the development, regulation and management of county public works related to water and sanitation, storm water and waste water management systems, water and soil conservation.

In 2015, the assembly passed the Coconut Act, which provides for the promotion and regulation of the production, processing, marketing and research on coconut and the development of the coconut industry in Kenya to provide for the establishment of the Kilifi County Coconut Development Board.

In 2016, the county assembly passed two land laws which included the Rating Act 2016 and the Valuation for Rating 2016.

Governor Kingi said the Rating Act provides for the imposition of rates on land and buildings in the County of Kilifi while the Valuation for Rating Act empowers the County Government to value land for the purpose of collection of rates.

He said his administration has set aside Sh41 million in this financial year 2020/2021 to survey and allocate Marereni, Marafa, Kaloleni and Majengo/Kanamai, Ganze and Ramada trading centres.

"Counties have been encouraged to expand their local revenue base to meet their financial obligations in serving their people and because of that, we are currently in the process of concluding the new County Valuation Roll with over 46,000 land properties captured.

This is an increase from the current 13,000 land properties valuation roll, translating to an increase of 253 percent. Once this process is completed, it will enhance our revenue collection to a great extent," added Mr Kingi.

Other legislations are the Emergency Fund Bill, 2020; Ward Scholarship Amendment Act, 2020; Valuation & Supplementary Roll Regulations, 2019; Solid Waste Management Act, 2019; Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2019; Investment Corporation Act, 2019 and Microfinance (Mbegu) Fund Regulations, 2019.

The county government first passed the Ward Scholarship act which enables the devolved government to allocate a total of Sh350 million for the 35 wards.

"In each ward, the county allocates Sh10 million to pay school fees for the bright and needy students," said the governor.

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