In 2007, Community Vision a non government Organization started mobilizing residents to form groups and start village banks to generate revolving funds for the group members.
Members of Village banks in Luweero district have opted to keep their savings in boxes in their homes citing high bank charges. In 2007, Community Vision a non government Organization started mobilizing residents to form groups and start village banks to generate revolving funds for the group members. At least 910 village banks comprising of not less than 30 members each, were formed. Most of the groups have generated a revolving fund ranging between shillings 2 and 20 million.
They are spread in Luweero town council, Katikamu, Makulubita, and Nyimbwa Sub County. Moses Ssonko, chairperson Kikyusa Sunrise Development Association (saving group) says that most of the village bank members keep their savings in their houses. Ssonko says that the banks are too far making it costly for members to travel and deposit or withdraw their savings. He also adds that it is risky to transport the money on motor cycles and have resolved to keep it themselves.
John Mukasa, secretary Bajjabasaga group says that apart from banks being located in distant towns they also charges high fees on transactions. He explains to open up a group account banks charge between 50,000-100,000 shillings on top of the monthly deductions on savings which is too much compared to their little savings. Mukasa says they have decided to keep the money in their homes for fear of incurring bank charges.
Grace Nyakairu, the community development officer Katikamu sub county says that failure to keep the money in banks has taken a toll on the member’s savings. He says that they have recorded several cases of loan defaulters and theft by some members. Nyakairu says at least 10 cases of theft have been recorded since the beginning of this year.
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Nyakairu says that as sub county authorities they have moved in to regulate their works and ordered the groups to register and open up bank accounts or else they will be closed. Denis Alupot, the project coordinator at Community Vision-Wobulenzi says that they have started sensitizing members to form constitutions and open up bank accounts to reduce the risks
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Four banks operate in Luweero district and its surrounding areas. These include Stanbic, Equity, Postbank and Centenary. None of the bank managers was available to comment about the concerns of the village bank members.
village banks or saving groups
community development officer
bank charges and lack of access to financial institutions