The Ministry through the Affirmative action funds namely; Uwezo Fund, Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Women Enterprise Fund and The National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) last week disbursed cheques worth over Ksh 99 million to various youth, women and Persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Kakamega, Vihiga and Bungoma Counties.
Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Rachel Shebesh who presided over the issuance of the Cheques called for sensitization and mobilization of the groups at the grass root level in order to increase uptake of affirmative funds in Western Counties.
She noted that the Government has purposely provided affirmative funds with an intention to ensure the vulnerable groups in the society can access affordable loans to open up small enterprises and empower themselves economically.
“We are calling upon all the leaders both from the National and County Government to intensify campaigns and sensitize women, youth and PWDs on the availability of affirmative funds which is now lying in various bank accounts. This money will enable them to open small enterprises and improve their livelihoods,” she reiterated.
Hon. Shebesh held discussions with National and County Government officials led by the respective leaders in the three Counties namely; Vihiga Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo, Bungoma Governor H.E Wycliffe Wangamati and Kakamega Deputy Governor H.E Philip Kutima, who welcomed the collaboration between the Ministry of Public Service and Gender and the County Governments including National Youth Service programmes and Affirmative Action fund uptake.
On the other hand, she asked parents to take their parental roles seriously arguing that the increased number of teenage pregnancies reported in the Country is at an alarming rate that needs urgent intervention.
“It is sad to note that we shall be sending back to school many of our girls who are now pregnant. This is not the vision we have for our children as Country,” said the CAS.
She further called for concerted effort to combat Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) arguing that victims are left to suffer in silence when the society remain silent in fighting the vice. “Let us speak up and utilize the available resources including the toll-free number 1195 to ensure GBV victims access justice and get help at the right time,” added Hon. Shebesh
The Chief Administrative Secretary toured the Huduma Centres in the three Counties to assess efficiency of service delivery and the measures put in place to ensure safety of staff and the public during COVID-19 pandemic. She also carried out inspection on the ongoing phase two of ‘Kazi Mtaani’ Programme being undertaken by local youths and other self-help groups in those Counties.
Hon. Shebesh was accompanied by Chairman NYS Council, Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Njuki Mwaniki, NYS Director-General Matilda Sakwa, County Commissioners, County Women Reps, Women Enterprise Fund CEO, Eng. Charles Mwirigi, Uwezo Fund CEO, Peter Lengapiani and Youth Enterprise Development Fund CEO, Benson Muthendi among other National and County Government officials