Karonga District Council director of planning and development for Emmanuel Bulukutu says the Community Savings and Investment Promotions (Comsip) has changed the lives of many people in the district because they can afford to add value to some of their products and sale at a higher price.
Bulukutu said this recently in Karonga when officials from Comsip, the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) and journalists visited the district to appreciate the impact of the Comsip cooperatives.
“There are many Comsip groups in this district which started small but are now steadily growing. Most individuals kept some money after participating in the EU public works programme and have built houses, bought cars and various livestock after joining Comsip groups,” said Bulukutu.
He said there are three cooperatives Mlale,Uliwa and Kaporo are doing very well.
“For example, the members Mlale Cooperative are making wine, juices and mats.Some of them have built houses and others have their children in private secondary schools.
“What happens is that each member contributes to the group and buys shares. At the end of the year they share dividends. If one contributes more he gets a lot of money and we are encouraging people to join the groups,” said Bulukutu.
He, however, said the groups are failing to get proper expert advice in some aspects due to insufficient extension workers.
“We have a few extension workers and the cooperatives are also failing to buy equipment which could help them produce a lot of products in a short period of time. We will be very happy if government can come in and help these groups buy the machines,” said Bulukutu.
Director of public affairs in the OPC, Isaac Cheke Ziba, said it is encouraging that lives of people are changing for the better. He said government will work hard to make sure that many individuals join the Comsip groups.
“What we have noted is that when people have formed groups they are able to make huge changes in their lives. As government we will make sure we help in any way possible to make sure that people move out of poverty through Comsip groups,” said Ziba.
Apart from the cooperatives at Mlale, Uliwa and Kaporo another group where members are very proactive is Tuyepampene.