By GYNNIE KERO
OWNERS of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) funded by the Imbonggu District Development Authority (DDA) under MP Francis Awesa’s leadership have spoken highly of positive impacts in areas where the projects have been established.
Imbonggu’s first successful poultry layer farmer Resi Kupa urged people not wait and expect their MPs and the Government to do everything for them.
Kupa told of his egg-layer project, which he started in Jan 2013 in a bush material shelter with three boxes containing 156 layers.
Last year, he was assisted with K20,000 by the DDA, enabling him to increase his layers to 300, producing between 16 and 18 dozens of eggs each day to supply Mendi town and local markets.
Piggery farmer James Dima was assisted with K50,000 in August last year to build a K98,000 permanent building, replacing an old bush material structure.
Dima plans to set up a feed mill and build a butchery to supply the pork demands of Mendi town and local communities.
A portable sawmill machine owned by a woman has done wonders to help people build new permanent houses.
Purchased in 2010 with IDDA help, the equipment has been used to cut timber to build new permanent homes replacing bush material (kunai) houses.
Sawmill owner Napi Limu said the machine made a big and positive impact to ways of life for villagers.
Limu said home owners provided their own trees and paid a minimal cost for the boys operating the sawmill, fuel and lubricants.
“It is the first of its kind of equipment in the area and has enabled our people to build and own permanent homes in their own villages – something never seen previously in the area,” Limu said.
“It provides excellent opportunity for those who are prepared to spend their own money to build good houses for their families instead of wasting their hard-earned money in gambling, drinking and other unproductive and worthless activities.”
Another portable sawmill operator, Ben Sawe, was given K75,000 to buy a new sawmill to cut local timber for people to build permanent houses at reasonable cost as well as for other purposes.
Sawe said the emphasis of the Government in driving the SME policy should not only be concentrated in big cities, towns and urban areas, but also pursued in the districts and local communities.
He said SME policy work would work if more money was given to people in rural and outlying zones of the country.
Sawe said such rural-based small projects and business activities would help to make meaningful contribution in the government’s policy on SME. “Put more money in the rural communities and districts because that is where the bulk of the population live,” Sawe said.
“People in the rural areas and villages are those who want to remain there and do the hard work for themselves, their families and communities.
As well, in its 2016 budget, the IDDA has approved K350,000 to set up a vegetable market depot with proper cool room, storage, marketing and distribution facilities to help boost local vegetable production.
Walume government station has been identified as a suitable site for the depot because of its central location as well as road, electricity and other infrastructure connection.
It is situated on Western and Southern Highlands Highway at the junction of Ialibu-Pangia and Mendi-Kagua-Tari roads.
The IDDA has also assisted others to set up service stations, trading, transport and other projects.
By GYNNIE KERO