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October 18, 2018

Hellen Nkaissery, Samburu women seek global market for beadworks

Samburu women display their bead products at a hotel in Maralal town on Saturday May 12, 2018. /MARTIN FUNDI
Samburu women display their bead products at a hotel in Maralal town on Saturday May 12, 2018. /MARTIN FUNDI

Samburu women dealing in beads have asked the county and national government to help them market their products.

They also called upon government to increase grants that would enable them borrow loans and expand their businesses.

"We have not received support like in the past when high tourism flow created a market for us," Sophia Lokonya said.

Elizabeth Leleruk, another trader, urged the government's intervention will save them from being exploited by middlemen.

They spoke during the launch of Ushanga Initiative - a steering group headed by late Interior CS' Joseph Nkaissery's widow Hellen.

She said government aims to create market for beading products through the Ushanga Kenya initiative project.

The venture was launched by office of the president and implemented by office of the deputy president to empower women.

"This will help the bead experts access market for their products, get skills of making high quality products of international standards," Hellen said.

Samburu deputy governor Julius Leseeto said they are committed to ensuring that a market for beading products has been created.

"The county government has set aside Sh10 million through cooperative departments to boost women in all regions in this county," he said.

Hellen said bead works is a cultural practice in most pastoral counties, hence it should be commercialised for the practice to add value.

"Commercialisation will make the women self-reliant and they will be able to educate their children," she said.

Hellen Nkaissery said Ushanga Initiative will be train, fund, and assist women who engage in bead works find markets for their wares.

Among the counties that will benefit and exhibit their bead works are Narok, Kajiado, Samburu, Marsabit, Turkana, West Pokot and Baringo.

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