Minister Chiumia opens bakery for Chang’ombe co-op: Promote community driven projects

Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development, Grace Chiumia on Monday called for promotion of community driven projects and initiatives in order to meet the development needs of the people.

Minister Chiumia appreciating some of the products from the bakery. Pic Courtesy of Comsip.

Bookkeeper for Chang’ombe Cooperative Sayinani Kampalachirwa (right) briefing Minister Chiumia, left, about the bakery

Chiumia said this in Chitukula Village, Traditional Authority Kawamba in Kasungu when she visited and launched a community bakery owned by Chang’ombe Cooperative.

“It is encouraging to see that there are some communities who are taking the initiative to develop their lives without waiting for support from somewhere else,” Chiumia said, adding: “We have to support these initiatives and replicate them in other areas needing the same.”

The minister said she was impressed with the economic activities that members of Chang’ombe Cooperative are undertaking in bailing themselves out of poverty.

“Here is a group that mobilized itself by making savings and invest them in both individual and group businesses. They are generating capital for themselves using locally available resources although in small amounts, but it’s something to start with,” she said.

Chiumia assured the nation that her ministry through the community development department will continue to support community development assistants who do most of the legwork in providing extension services that empower local communities.

An initiative by a small group of locals engaged in community savings and small businesses, Chan’gombe Cooperative Bakery, has been constructed with support from the Community Savings and Investment Promotion (COMSIP) Cooperative Union Limited at the tune of K4. 2 million. The Cooperative members contributed 40, 000 bricks for the project.

Chief Executive Officer for COMSIP, Tenneson Gondwe said the union is working hard to promote cooperatives that are taking the initiative to support themselves.

“We want cooperatives to sustain their businesses with enough capital generated by themselves,” Gondwe said.

He commended members of Chang’ombe Cooperative for taking it upon themselves in improving their own lives through the construction of the bakery.

Bookkeeper for the cooperative, Sayinani Kampalachirwa said the bakery business has potential in most villages and other surrounding areas but lack of transport to reach most customers with the products is a problem.

Meanwhile, COMSIP Cooperative Union Limited has revealed that it will open microfinance banks at district level that will be providing loans as capital investments for its affiliate cooperatives.

“Most groups have plans to undertake large scale businesses but the limitation is that their savings and income generating activities do not raise enough capital for such ventures,” Gondwe said.

Lilongwe, Dedza and Kasungu will be the pilot districts for the establishment of these micro finance banks.

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