Community Savings and Investment Promotion (Comsip) Cooperative Union Limited has mobilised K31.5 million through savings and loans groups by beneficiaries of the government’s Covid-19 Urban Cash Programme.
This has been attained through the implementation of the Comsip Livelihood Restoration Project which aims at strengthening the safetynet for the urban poor under the Covid-19 for Urban Cash Interventions (Cuci).
Currently, the beneficiaries have formed groups of a maximum of 30 members and are undergoing a series of capacity building training in group management, savings mobilisation, nutrition and health, and home management (money management).
Speaking during the recent supervision exercise in Blantyre and Zomba, Comsip chief executive officer Tenneson Gondwe said Comsip has been a catalyst for savings and loans group development.
He said over the years Comsip has helped groups evolve into well managed, member controlled savings and investment institutions with enterprise development fully integrated.
“In the Cuci, Comsip is facilitating the implementation of the livelihood restoration component as a way of strengthening the safety net for the urban poor towards livelihood restoration.
“We want to build a culture of savings and investment among the beneficiaries and the future looks promising. It is also expected that the groups will transform into cooperatives, be linked to formal financial institutions, service providers and markets”.
National Local Government Finance Committee enterprise development specialist Mirriam Saiwa said she was pleased to learn that some Cuci beneficiaries have welcomed the livelihood restoration concept despite some challenges experienced during the initial disbursements including delays in releasing beneficiaries list.
The women group charge between 10 to 20 percent interest rate per month for loans.
The training targets 28 000 beneficiary households in Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Blantyre and Zomba cities.
The Malawi government is giving out cash transfers to poor urban households as a way of cushioning them from the negative effects of Covid-19 on their livelihoods and well-being.
So far, 199 000 households in the cities of Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Zomba and Blantyre have been receiving the cash transfers.