ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

Mombasa Luo group to establish a savings cooperative

Members have depended on contributions in times of disaster but now want financial independence.

In Summary

- The Ramogi Welfare Group, Mombasa branch, is set to launch its five-year strategic plan on Sunday.

- The plan includes starting a Sacco, establishing a conference hall to tap into the tourism industry and venture into the real estate business.

Changamwe MCA Bernard Ogutu, Ramogi Welfare Group organising secretary Nicholas Juma, chairman Ismael Ochola and secretary general John Kombo at the Mombasa Women Hall on Friday.
Changamwe MCA Bernard Ogutu, Ramogi Welfare Group organising secretary Nicholas Juma, chairman Ismael Ochola and secretary general John Kombo at the Mombasa Women Hall on Friday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

The Luo community in Mombasa plans to establish a Sacco to economically empower its members for financial independence.

The Ramogi Welfare Group, Mombasa branch, is set to launch its five-year strategic plan on Sunday.

Other proposals in the strategic plan include establishing a conference hall to tap into the tourism industry and venture into the real-estate business.

The group’s chairman Ismael Ochola told the Star on Friday the community has for a long time been depending on contributions from members to help one another whenever disaster struck.

“That is why in 2004 we started this welfare, which was by then mainly to help in cases of death of one of our own. But we have since been brainstorming on how better to empower ourselves economically,” Ochola said.

He spoke at the Mombasa Women Hall ahead of the meeting to launch the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.

The group, which has over 5,000 members, plans to have a recruitment drive aimed at doubling the membership.

The plan to establish a Sacco was mooted by members who felt the community members should work towards economic independence.

“In the plan, we hope to have the Sacco up and running within the next one year so that our members can save and be able to take loans which they can use to invest in other ventures of their own,” secretary general John Kombo said.

Kombo said the welfare group plans to construct a major conference hall in Mombasa so as to tap into the conference tourism that is picking up in Mombasa.

“Whenever we have meetings, we are forced to hire halls which sometimes do not even meet our expectations or needs. Once we construct a hall of our own, we will save on costs.

“The hall can also be hired by different groups to generate income when we are not using it,” Kombo said.

Ochola said they are also looking for land on which they will construct a Ramogi complex which will include an ECD, a primary and a secondary school.

“Our children will acquire their education here and advance our academic strengths,” Ochola said.

The officials say once settled they will also venture into the property industry and construct several residential houses for sale or rent.

“We want to do business to empower our people,” Ochola said. 

(edited by O. Owino)