Your issue No 26 on credit and loans was of great interest to me, especially the HEED credit and loan scheme. In May 1992 a small group sat down and thought out ways to obtain loans from commercial banks when they had no securities. They decided to form a cooperative society and seek registration from the Government.
The Homa Bay Traders Savings and Credit Co-operative Society, as it is known, has grown from strength to strength in terms of membership and finance. We now have 800 members. These are our rules for lending:
- Applicants must be members of the society for at least 6 months.
- Applicants are loaned twice their savings.
- Applicants must be guaranteed by at least three other society members.
- If a person fails to repay a loan it is recovered from savings. The guarantors help to persuade the loanee to pay regularly.
We collect savings daily through a field collector. So far we have managed to save about 10 million Kenyan shillings and have loaned out 16 million Kenyan shillings.
This self-help co-operative movement has really changed the economy of our region.
Tom Cleopas Onyango Akuku (Treasurer), The New Mbita Clinic, PO Box 299, Mbita, Suba District, Kenya.