170 vulnerable but viable households have benefitted from the village banking program a support from Government in Chipata district this year.
Chipata district assistant community development officer Beatrice Phiri said that over 600 women have benefitted from the program since its inception in 2015.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS yesterday, Mrs Phiri said the program which supports women empowerment activities, covers women and youths in small businesses or those planning to venture into businesses.
She said Government had released K75, 000 as seed money with which 150 households benefitted when the program started in 2015;
Mrs Phiri said the department has been giving loans between K500 and K1000 to the households as start-up capital and they are expected to pay back in 25 weeks with an interest of 0.8 percent.
She said before giving out the loans to the vulnerable but viable households, the department provides mentorship to the beneficiaries on business identification, businesses management and the importance of saving.
Mr Phiri said the loan recovery from the revolving fund is currently at 95 percent for the past six cycles and has enabled the seed money grow to K151,000.
She said the beneficiaries of the village bank program in the district are coming from Mchini, Kapata, Magazine, Musekera, Sanjika and Kapara.
Mrs Phiri said the main vision of the program is to empower households so that they sustain their livelihoods.
She said the program has helped households to standout for themselves as opposed to receiving for consumption.
Mrs Phiri urged other Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in the district to follow the model of department of community development aimed at alleviating poverty in communities.