Mandera County Speech During The 97th International Co-Operative Day Celebrations Marked On 6th July 2019, As Delivered By The County Secretary
County Executive Members
Hon MCA’s present,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today marks an important day in the co-operative movement calendar as the world reflects on the gains and achievements of this great sector and the positive impact on the lives of the members and the general public. This year’s theme “CO-OPs for DECENT WORK” is all about decency for the co-operative movement.
The co-operative bodies are formed in the Spirit of cooperation by the members which are the heart of their existence. The members are the greatest asset of co-operatives as they contribute to their success. They have power on management of their co-operatives through their participation and democratic control of these enterprises.
Further, Co-operatives are independent Private Entities with a public face prompting regulation and supervision by the government. It is by this description that co-operatives are autonomous association of persons who jointly operate freely to satisfy their needs.
The Co-operative sector in the County has continued to grow in numbers since the first co-operative, Mandera Farmers Co-operative Society ltd was registered in 1973. To date there are 169 registered co-operatives involved in various economic activities – farming, financial services, traders, Jua Kali, Public transport service etc. They help fight poverty for self sufficiency.
Before devolution, there were 33 registered co-operatives compared to today at 169, fifth fold of previous status. These comprises SACCOs, Producer/Farmers Marketing, Consumers, Multipurpose, Investment, Housing, Traders and Transport. The Majority are the Producer Co-operatives with 66 which is 39% of the total and followed by 40 SACCOs at 23%.
There are a total of 4829 members out of which the male are 3969 while female are 860. The Youth and women members are about 45%. Few women are in management positions. Further, the majority of the members are over 40 years old. At devolution the membership stood at 1500.
The co-operatives have achieved:
1. Promotion of peaceful co-existence and cooperation.
2. Mobilization of savings by members. The co-operatives have saved over ksh.8m.
3. Promoted investments.
4. Increased production and productivity.
5. More co-operative awareness.
The County has continued to support growth of strong co-operatives. Before devolution there were 2 Co-operative Staff, a County Co-operative Auditor and County Co-operative Commissioner. The County government employed 6 Co-operative Officers to improve in service delivery increasing the number to 8. As a Ministry, we thank H.E Governor Ali Roba for creating a separate Co-operative department last year headed by a Chief Officer and also the Audit office headed by the Director Co-operative Audit.
To enhance co-operative performance the County Government has continued to support the co-operatives movement through:
1. Milk Value addition and processing: To increase their sales, the County Government donated to Mandera Milk Sellers SACCO S. Ltd, Milk Equipments( Milk Dispenser, Cooler and a boiler) worth about ksh.2m which was handed over by H.E. the Governor Ali Ibrahim Roba. The co-operative is striving to improve its operations in Milk collection, transportation, Packaging and in marketing of milk. The co-operative sells fresh milk, Maziwa lala and Yorghurt.
2. Construction of a Store for BP One F. C. S. Ltd.
3. Supply of Inputs to farmers.
4. The Co-operatives have also been supported through Education and Training provision to the Co-operative Leaders, members and the community.
There is increased awareness by the co-operative members and community on co-operative matters from sensitizations workshop and training workshop carried out by this office recently.
With the upcoming Mandera County Trade Development Fund, Cooperatives society will be privileged to borrow the fund. To in spur their growth in value addition, the department with other stakeholders(Livestock, Agriculture department and non state actors) will focus on value addition of their products.
Co-operative sector is facing various challenges which affects their performance but the County Government is doing everything possible to support and improve their performances.
Through the contribution of these co-operatives Decent Work is enhanced.