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Sidian Bank gives Sh430m loans to small water firms

SIDIAN

Sidian Bank CEO Chege Thumbi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Sidian Bank has advanced 268 water service small enterprises Sh430 million in cheap loans to enhance supply in the fight against coronavirus.

Chief executive Chege Thumbi said the loans, dubbed Wash, and that target micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the water and sanitisation sector were disbursed from August 2020 to June 2021.

The facility was launched last year in partnership with Dutch non-profit organisation, Aqua for All and Davis & Shirtliff.

It targets to benefit MSMEs by providing short-term financing facilities in working capital, asset, and project finance.

“The portfolio under Wash facility currently stands at Sh430 million. We target to disburse Sh500 million before end of 2021,” Mr Thumbi told the Business Daily yesterday.

The credit facility is part of the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme.

It is targeting small businesses that have borne the brunt of the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused the Kenyan economy to slow down to 0.6 percent last year compared to 5.4 percent in 2019.

The credit facility is payable after two years and attracts 11 percent interest.

The minimum amount a business can borrow is Sh100,000 and the maximum is Sh25 million.

Targeted customers must be group members who are in business operating in same locality with individual members having been in business for a minimum of six months, Sidian added.

Through the provision of this facility, Sidian through its partners aims to combat the pandemic by supporting customers with financing to sustain Wash services for 2.5 million low-income population affected by Covid-19 in Kenya.

“In addition to loans to customers, this initiative has given rise to additional partnerships. We have also provided support and financing for micro finance institutions who support clients in the water, sanitation and hygiene sectors,” said Mr Thumbi.