FROM THE CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, TRADE AND CO-OPERATIVES
It gives me great pleasure and joy to join the co- operative movement in the 92nd Ushirika Day Celebrations, whose theme is “Co-operatives for decent work”. I also wish to take this opportunity to congratulate National Co-operative Housing Union Ltd (NACHU) on the launching of NACHU Plaza tomorrow during the Ushirika Day celebrations. NACHU is a Union for all housing co-operative societies in Kenya.
The Constitution of Kenya under article 43 (b) clearly provides for access to adequate housing with reasonable standards of sanitation as a social and economic right to all Kenyans. Further, the World Bank (2017) study confirmed the potential of co-operatives to solve housing needs in Kenya if given the necessary incentives and enabling environment. Under the Housing Policy, co-operatives are expected to greatly contribute the delivery of housing stock in the country.
In this regard, the government recognises the critical role being played by NACHU since its inception as a leading affordable housing provider through primary co-operatives in Kenya. In the last three years, it has delivered over 2000 decent housing units for low income earners in different parts of the country.
This has contributed significantly towards the Affordable Housing pillar of the Big Four Agenda. Co-operatives address the housing needs across the whole pyramid of households in Kenya – from the poor in the slum areas to the very rich in the up market areas. Hence, they are the best vehicle to address equity in the country. They have the capacity to lower the cost of construction through economies of scale because of the large membership, which can mobilise enormous savings for housing investments.
On our part, the Government, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives, will continue to provide a conducive policy, legal and regulatory environment for housing co-operatives to operate in. The National Co- operative Policy will go a long way in providing a framework that will encourage formation of housing co-operatives in Kenya as the best avenue of accessing affordable housing. I therefore wish to take this opportunity to thank the NACHU leadership for their stewardship of the Union, that has seen them achieve a milestone today. As a ministry, we will always be ready to partner and work with the Union and its entire membership and affiliates to unlock the potential of Kenyan people.