One of the key issues identified by local community members was the difficulty experienced in borrowing money to start new business ventures for agricultural activities. In response, GIZ (the German Development Agency) has been contracted to establish village banking in 70 communities throughout the district by end of 2012.
In 2010, the first 35 groups around the mine became part of this project.
Small groups are formed, whose members (predominately women) first save and can later borrow funds from the group with low interest rates.
The aim of the project is to help alleviate poverty by providing financial services to the poor in a sustainable way.
If people are able to save and borrow money, and also access support for small business development, they may be able to consider a range of livelihood options and thereby improve the quality of their lives.
Village banks help increase people’s options for how they earn a living.