Meru Herbs Savings and Development Group is a Financial Service Association operating within Ng’uuru Gakirwe water project area. The Association is owned and managed by residents of Ng’uuru Gakirwe, Meru herbs employees and other stakeholders. It was created to address a need to provide financial services in the form of savings and credit to the residents of the water project area and Meru Herbs employees.
Meru herbs had the desire to start a savings and credit cooperative society (SACCO) motivated by the need to find a facility for the safe keeping of extra cash, which would otherwise be misused. The association targeted 26 Meru Herbs staff, 30 water project committee members, 56 Meru Herbs casual workers, 470 Meru Herbs farmers and other farmers within the project area. Using a participatory approach, Swisscontact was willing to facilitate the development of Meru Herbs financial enMount Kenya Universityy as an organisation by conducting workshops to develop a strategic plan and policies and procedures of operations.
The Association was registered on 19th January 2005 under the ministry of culture and social services as a ‘self-help group’ and is on the verge of being registered as a Savings and Credit Cooperative.
The cooperative is improving members’ living standards and their farming and business enterprises, and has ambitious plans for the future: “By 2016 we want to increase members to 1,000, increase share capital to 10 million Kenyan shillings [$103,050.00], computerize Sacco operations and open a front-office services activity,” says chairman Celeste Nyaga