NGEC Chairperson Winfred Lichuma has lauded the Uwezo and Women Enterprise Fund schemes for the life changing impact they are having on rural communities. Speaking in Shinyalu, Kakamega County during celebrations to mark the International Rural Women’s Day organized by Shibuye Community Health Workers, Lichuma called for increased collaboration between communities, both national and the county governments in improving rural women’s livelihoods, food security and diversifying their sources of income.
The celebrations came hot on the heels of the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the UN General Assembly in New York which provided a platform for sensitizing members of several community based organizations about the SDGs and the importance of engaging in implementation processes.
Lichuma said she was impressed by the work of the women groups who had displayed various farm products saying this was testimony to the transformative effect the projects were having on the local community. “I want to thank the organizers for linking communities to global initiatives as a way of fostering ownership in order to participate actively in implementation processes and also hold leaders accountable.” Said Lichuma.
At the same time, Lichuma called for concerted efforts in tackling societal vices particularly sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), neglect of the boy child and failure to comply with existing laws such as the Sexual Offences Act.
“Do not condone sexual and gender based violence by failing to report perpetrators however close they are to you, they are criminals and should be prosecuted”. She said. Lichuma urged the County government to allocate adequate resources to establish rescue centres for abused children and mothers to protect them from further abuse and harassment by members who abuse them and their families.
On the rising cases of boys dropping out of school to be employed as boda boda riders, Lichuma challenged the County government to devise strategies of engaging youth meaningfully and outlawing child labour.