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Kenyan bank strives to promote women finance development

Xinhua, December 5, 2016 Adjust font size:

Kenya Women Microfinance Bank, a deposit-taking microfinance institution, has introduced products favorable to progressive development of women in the country.

Formerly known as the Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT), the bank targets women with credit products aimed at empowering them.

Joe Eriton, a finance officer with the bank at Kabarnet branch in the Rift Valley region, said they have introduced a multipurpose motorcycle and a lending service for building modern homes with energy-saving facilities and equipment for provision of clean water.

“Our interest is to empower women and the motorcycle enables women to do a lot of things with it,” said Eriton.

The motorcycle which the bank offers at a bargain price, has inbuilt pump and can be used to pump water from wells or boreholes. It is also suitable for transportation in poor terrain that is very common in the Kenyan countryside.

“It is appropriate farm equipment for women in the dry areas since they can pump water from wells or boreholes with ease and use the same motorcycle to transport. That reduces burden of carrying the water,” Eriton said.

He said women in parts of North Eastern, Eastern and Western Kenya have adopted the technology and are enjoying its benefits.

Various studies on adoption of agricultural technologies in the Sub-Saharan Africa have shown women were often denied control over such resources.

Eriton said they also offer credit at a flat interest rate of 20 percent to women to build houses with quality and efficient components.

“The house comes with solar equipment including a TV that uses solar power. It also includes septic tanks and water filters which purify water collected from the iron sheets,” he said.

The government is yet to enact regulations to lower interest rates for the micro-finance institutions such as the KWFT, but a new act that caps interest rates of commercial banks has made it easier for Kenyans to access loans.