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6T Microfinance (ENGLISH)

ROTARY CLUB OF NAKURU & ROTARY CLUB OF HOORN MICROFINANCE PROJECT

I.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

PROJECT TITLE:

Rotary club of Nakuru & Rotary club of Hoon Microfinance project

TYPE OF PROJECT

(WASH) MICROFINANCE Project

PROJECT PROPONENT/S:

Rotary Club of Hoon, Rotary Club of Nakuru and others international partners.

NUMBER OF BENEFICIARIES:

Approximately 22 RCC’s with 8 active self-help groups in each RCC

PROJECT BENEFICIARIES:

176 Self-help groups in 22 Rotary Community Corps (RCC’s) in Nakuru County.

LOCATION OF BENEFICIARIES:

Nakuru County, Rift Valley Region - Kenya

DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION/DURATION:

October 2019

AREA OF PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION:

RCC’s in: Bahati, Subukia, Wanyororo and Elementaita

BUDGET REQUIREMENT:

 

BUDGET REQUESTED:

 

2.0) 6T PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Rotary Community Corps. (RCC) 6T water project has been a multi-year partnership between the Rotary Club of Nakuru, international rotary clubs and donors, and several rural communities throughout Nakuru, Laikipia, and Nyandarua counties respectively.

The 6T (Trees, Training, Toilet, Tank, Table banking and Transformation) Program; an initiative of the Rotary Club of Nakuru was started in 2002 with the help of the Late Rotarian John Mbugua who was passionate about alleviating poverty of the poor community by empowering them.

3.0) MAIN OBJECTIVE OF 6T PROJECT

The main objective of the project was to improve the quality of life for the low-income beneficiaries by reducing waterborne diseases, conserve their environment and unlock more disposable income through savings.

4.0) SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES OF 6T PROJECT

The 6T water project intention is to support low-income beneficiaries through:

·

Provide one 10000 litre rain water harvesting tanks to beneficiaries;

·

Improve hygiene in the community by ensuring clean toilets are constructed and maintained;

·

Improve the environment by planting trees;

·

Empower community on resource mobilization through table banking;

·

Work with stakeholders on health, sanitation and table banking training;

5.0) 6T PROJECT DESIGN

-The Rotary Club of Nakuru worked with international rotary clubs and other donors to create a matching grant for 10,000-litre household rain water harvesting tanks.

-The program is designed on a cost sharing basis where Community members organize themselves and get registered into a self-help group with common interest of between 10 to 15 members.

-The project started with 3 RCCs in the year 2003 and set a goal to empowering them construct 1000 tanks of 10,000 liters capacity each.

-The beneficiaries of the 6T project were also required to plant a minimum of one hundred (100) trees and to build a suitable toilet in order to qualify for a tank.

-An additional KES 5,000 commitment fee was required by the beneficiaries as well as labor and raw materials to meet approximately half of the cost of a tank.

-Beneficiaries were provided with training on table banking, health, water, sanitation, and hygiene.

-Each RCC additionally participates in ongoing table banking among groups whereby members are able to access both personal and business capital in the form of loans.

-This project has built over 6200 tanks thus far.

-Additionally roughly 2,000 members were provided with in depth training on health, water, sanitation, and hygiene in 2017.

6.0) KEY ACHIEVEMENTS OF 6T PROJECT

·

This project has built over 6,200 tanks thus far;

·

Additionally roughly 2,000 members were provided with in depth training on health, water, sanitation, and hygiene in 2017;

·

Each beneficiary family has a constructed a toilet which has improved sanitation for more than 6000 families;

·

Incidences of waterborne diseases in the community has declined thus unlocking funds that would otherwise been spent on medication for development;

·

Through table banking a culture of saving and borrowing for development has been firmly grounded in the community;

·

Provision of clean water through the 6T tanks has greatly reduced the time wasted on long treks by women to fetch water thereby enabling them to tend to productive ventures;

·

This project has also been a blessing to children especially girls who would have been spending a lot of time fetching water denying them an opportunity to study and play;

·

Availability of trees that are continuously being pruned has provided easy access to firewood to the community thus saving time and energy for the women;

·

At the same time, incidences of back ailments for the women has reduced due to reduction of carrying heavy loads – especially water and firewood over long distances;

·

Water from the 6T project tanks has also helped to build cohesion in the community since water is also shared between families and neighbours;

·

The 6T tanks are also a source of pride to the beneficiaries since they are considered elevated in their localities since they own a permanent tank;

·

The table banking component under 6T has also had multiplier effect on the community where many saved and also borrowed to educate children, construct houses, start businesses, start kitchen gardens and also improve their livestock.

7.0) KEY CONSTRAINT OF THE 6T PROJECT

The key constraints in this project is to:

·

Ensure that funds are available to put up more tanks for those in need;

·

Ensure that there is full accountability by the proponents in the project at all times;

·

Ensure that funds are available for repair of tanks toilets when arises;

·

Ensure that the table banking component is maintained as a culture in the communities;

·

Ensure that the goodwill generated by this project can bring forth other successful projects between the RC Nakuru, RC Hoon, other international partners with the local community.

8.0) SOLUTION TO THE CONSTRAINTS

6T project has an enduring legacy as a contributor to community transformation through community resource mobilization, partnership with government and donors to provide critical infrastructure to the community in Nakuru, Laikipia and Nyandarua Counties.

The table banking component has proved to be an important tool for resource mobilization and there is a greater potential if it is harnessed further to provide a long term solution to the constraints identified above.

The beneficiary communities has also demanded that the Rotary Club of Nakuru should do everything possible to ensure that table banking and the self-help groups do not die once tanks are provided to the communities.

The Rotary Club of Nakuru has also identified a gap in the table banking component which currently does not provide a continuous program that is to say that financial resources mobilized are decommissioned at the close of the financial year, shared out and the process starts afresh in the New Year.

At the same time Rotarians from partner clubs who have visited the projects and got impressed has raised funds dedicated to table banking and channeled the same to the RC Nakuru for onward transmission to the RCC’s.

The RC Nakuru was therefore faced with a dilemma of how to continuously account for such funds to the donors over time; while at the same time not stifling the operational performance of the self-help groups engaged in table banking.

Similarly RC Hoon, a key partner in the 6T project had concerns on how the maintenance of the tank infrastructure as well as the toilets will be achieved over time for sustainability of the project components.

10) THE BIRTH OF THE MICROFINANCE PROJECT

The board of the RC Nakuru after many deliberations agreed to work with the RCC’s by registering an organization, in this case a Sacco that would be the umbrella body; hosting client information and tracking accounts for RCC’s and the Self-Help groups under them.

The Sacco bank account will be held in the Cooperative Bank which is the banker for cooperative societies and this account will receive all proceeds from RC Nakuru as channeled by donors as well as repayments by RCC’s.

10.1 The role of the Sacco will be:

·

To act as the link organization between the RC Nakuru and partners on one hand and the RCC’s and self-help groups on the other hand;

·

Design consumer friendly products that will be cascaded down to the individual members such as: education loans, tank and toilet repair loan among others;

·

Ensure that a clear loan and saving policy is maintained and followed strictly by all members;

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Ensure that there is a clear cash ratio in the Sacco to maintain liquidity and eliminate wastages;

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Ensure social programs and community action programs are in place such as: bulk procurement for farm inputs for members as well emergency funding in case of crisis;

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To engage and enhance regular savings by the RCC’s and their affiliated self-help groups;

·

Credit management to optimize potential of the Sacco and its clients – RCC’s and self-help groups;

·

Book keeping activities and accounting to both RC Nakuru and affiliates as well as the RCCs and self-help groups;

·

Prepare and maintain a register of all the RCCs, Self-help groups and individual members updated on a monthly basis at all times;

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Provide awareness and training to all stakeholders especially the RCCs and Self-help groups;

·

Ensure linkages with other development players in the industry;

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Network with relevant agencies for the common good of its member and associates;

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Provide a clear and an ambiguous communication mechanism and channels, free of distortion to ensure accurate information at all times;

10.2 Other administrative functions of the Sacco:

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Ensure that the scope of the Sacco is maintained at all times;

·

Allocate both financial and human resources equitably to each function accordingly;

·

Capacity building for all stakeholder in this project to ensure informed decisions;

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Cost Control management in order to avoid losses and wastages at all levels;

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Quality control management to ensure accuracy, consistency and efficiency at all times;

·

Risk control and management to inform forward planning and mitigation of risk;

·

Draw a clear and actionable project implementation plan in order to inform stakeholders and align demand for resources to timing;

·

Prepare both a short term and long term strategy to align the Sacco with constantly changing dynamics.

10.3 Constraint to the Sacco operations

·

A key concern for RC Nakuru and RC Hoon is the day to day management of the Sacco considering it is new and it does not have a firm foundation.

·

While the Self-help groups will borrow and pay at minimal interest, it will take some time to raise enough income for the recurrent expenditure;

·

There is a need to have at least two staff members working full time to manage the books and other repairs to tanks. This is a big challenge due to the fact that money paid to the Sacco as deposits by members cannot be used for recurrent expenditure.

·

There is also a need to keep in touch with the homogeneous groups constantly for follow up, training and compliance.

·

There is a risk of members getting fatigued by many levies that would making saving borrowing expensive to them hence opting to leave the groups all together.

10.4 Proposed solution

At this nascent stage it is important for the Partners in the 6T project to find a way of meeting the recurrent expenditure for a period of at least 5 years to allow for growth and confidence building all round.

Together with the 6T partners, there is a possibility of working with corporations in Europe to get carbon credits for trees planted and for filters installed in the tanks. This will bring in some more resources to the groups while continuing with the 6T original objective of planting a hundred trees every year.

11.0) CONCLUSION

The 6T water project has demonstrated its success since it is a well-rounded program that has taken into consideration various reasons for disempowerment and provided different avenues for RCC members transform their lives in one way or another.

One of the biggest and largest contributions has been access to water for over 6,200 and their families. This has saved an enormous amount of time previously spent fetching water and provided RCC members with the opportunity to pursue other economic activities.

Not to be overlooked was also the inclusion of trees, which supply firewood and building materials, as well as work to change the micro-climate in the region; the task of collecting firewood also takes a lot of time and traditionally falls under the responsibility of women.

The 6T project is currently ongoing with additional tanks being constructed in various locations. The project is likely to remain in high demand as additional RCC members continuously apply for tanks.

RC Nakuru feel the project scope and amount of work has gone beyond what is possible for volunteer service. To the same effect, the Rotary Club of Nakuru currently employs two full-time project facilitators to carry out planning and implementation. With the number of beneficiaries continuously growing and the amount of monitoring required, there needs to be consideration from the partners on the possibility of permanently hiring the existing staff who have grown with the project carry out the work to ensure quality standards are met at all times.

When Members contribute materials in-kind, it eases the financial burden on the household and provide an opportunity for members to source materials together, participate in the construction of the tanks and are provided the opportunity to learn from the artisans. This skill transfer is critical to the community for future basic maintenance of the tanks.

Establishment of a Sacco will further enhance the RCCs capacity to save on a continuous basis thereby building a capital base for future projects at individual and group levels. The savings will provide a ready source for tank and toilet maintenance funds for the members thus ensuring sustainability.

The Sacco will also provide linkages to other service providers such as farm input providers, product marketing and also improve their negotiation ability for better services and prices with farm produce marketers.

Finally, there are endless project components that could be added to this project as the RCC member’s needs continue to change and grow. The 6T project has a solid foundation and proven transformation with the components already incorporated in the project. It is my considered recommendation and opinion that if the project continues, that it remains on theme of water, sanitation, hygiene, and economic empowerment.