Salima Community Savings and Investment Promotion (Comsip) Cooperatives savings have hit K136 million, thereby enabling the group to lend money to members to improve their welfare.
In an interview on the sidelines of the district’s Comsip Open Day at Kazizidwe Comsip Cluster in Traditional Authority Ndindi, Salima district community development officer Brighton Chunga said the welfare of members has improved and more people are joining.
He said: “There are 96 Comsip groups in Salima, 45 cluster groups and 12 cooperatives. These cooperatives have money in excess of K136 million and its assets and loans are also rising. This is no mean achievement and the fact that more members of the cooperatives are women, is helping to reduce gender-based violence.”
On his part, Comsip Cooperative chief executive officer Tenneson Gondwe said the group plans to set up a separate company, expected to be in operation by September this year, to lend money to Comsip members.
“As Comsip, we lend money to our members as a start-up and we also encourage good nutrition as well as proper sanitation. It is sad that in one year, Salima lost 63 children due to malnutrition.
“This situation should never happen again and we will be setting up a company where Comsip members will be able to borrow money. We do not want our members to be going to other institutions to borrow money at high interest rates,” he said.
Salima District Council senior assistant human resources officer Lameck Machisa commended Comsip for changing people’s lives, saying most members are engaging in businesses.
“What Comsip has done in Salima and the country is commendable. By teaching these people how to save, you have empowered them.
“Now they can grow crops on their own, rear livestock and even have decent houses with corrugated iron sheets,” he said.