ECLOF Kenya is a middle tier Micro-finance institution serving the economically vulnerable people living in both rural and urban Kenya. ECLOF Kenya does so by availing both financial and non-financial products and services thus contributing in poverty alleviation of the economically marginalized people in Kenya.
Registered as a microfinance company in 1994, it is affiliated to the ECLOF International, a global institution with its headquarters in Geneva. ECLOF Kenya is equally a member of the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Kenya (AMFI-Kenya), an umbrella body of Micro- finance Institutions (MFIs) in Kenya. ECLOF Kenyahas 44 outlets serving about 60,000 clients, with vibrant presence in over 66 per cent of the 47 counties.
ECLOF Kenya avails both financial and non-financial productsclassified under different categories to its clients. One interesting product and services offered is, WASH Loan (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene). WASH Loan, classified under the category of Social Products, caters for construction of pit latrines especially in the rural areas, sinking shallow wells to avail water for consumption, irrigation and livestock, acquisition of fully fitted water tanks for rain water harvesting and purchase of water purifiers to ensure that clients consume clean and safe drinking water. StartUp Magazine met with some of the clients who have benefitted from WASH loans and this is what they had to say:
Edward Ngugi Wanyoike
The Chairman of Kagirambii Chama Group that receives financial support from ECLOF Kenya, Mr. Wanyoike who lives in Ndireini Village in Murang’a County was quick to point out on how ECLOF Kenya has been one of the best things that ever happened to his life.
He has enjoyed a number of loan facilities from ECLOF Kenya which helped him in setting up a shop, hotel, grocery store, a barber shop and buying dairy cow and household items.
Asked how he manages to run all these enterprises, he says “Joining ECLOF Kenya in 2016 ignited my ambitions.” He adds that the institution is very timely in disbursement of loans, a selling point that bought his loyalty to the firm. “I have never looked anywhere else since knowing ECLOF,” he adds. “I used part of the loan to buy water tank and gutters to harvest and store water. Before buying the tank, I would go to fetch water from the river which was very tiresome. My dairy cows were less productive because of lack of enough drinking water. But now with water around, everything has changed for the better,” he explains.
Phelistas Njeri Kiare
A short distance from Mr. Wanyoike’s home, in the same Ndireini Village, we meet another client-Phelistas Njeri Kiarie. Mrs. Kiarie joined the group in 2016 and has enjoyed loan facilities which have transformed her well-being. She took a loan to dig and set up a borehole which has been an answer to all her water problems. Today, she uses the water to irrigate her small farm which she hopes to expand. In addition to that, she took up another loan to install electricity power in her home. With electrical power, she is now sourcing for electric water pump to propel water from the borehole and facilitate irrigation with ease. She is grateful that she will no longer worry about manually fetching water from the borehole which was hectic and the opportunity to expand her scope of farming.
Catherine Muthoni Kimani
Catherine joined ECLOF Kenya early 2017, and just like others, she is in a fruitful relationship with the financier.
She specifically took a loan to buy water tank and gutters. With the gutters, she collects and harvests rain water with which she stores for domestic use. The water supply sees her through dry seasons and saves her the agony of water shortage. “Buying water is very expensive,“she explains.
Besides the water tanks, she also used part of the loan to set up standard hygienic toilets. She looks forward to build a self-contained house, with a toilet inside and free flowing tap water.