Eight years ago, a number of boda boda operators from Nakuru West came together to form a Chama. That Chama registered as Kianjahi Housing Co-Operative Society Limited on 6/10/2011 and began the process of member recruitment among other operators in the same zone. By September 2015, the group had 122 active members each contributing Kshs. 2,000 per week. Majority of the members are boda boda riders (bicycles and motorbikes) who used to live in shanty houses and had a dream to own a home. In the same year, the Housing Cooperative officials met and saw that the Cooperative had recruited enough members to kick-start saving towards a housing project.
The group was advised by Rafiki Microfinance Bank to carry out the project in three phases of 50 houses each. Rafiki financed the co-operative to buy two parcels of land for the construction of initial 150 houses. The bank has also financed construction, where loan repayments come from member contributions. The houses are constructed at affordable cost of Kes. 700,000 for a two-bedroomed house.
Phase one of the project has been completed and handed over a Christmas present for first 50 members last year. The other two phases are in progress and will be completed soon. The housing cooperative’s procedure of allocation of houses is through balloting; they did a fair and transparent balloting of the houses. All members continue contributing regardless of the phase they are in since the vision is to construct houses for all the members. The cooperative has come up with a tenant purchase agreement which is signed by every member who is given a house, to instill discipline in contributions and maintain acceptable standards for the houses.
This story has motivated many Nakuru residents. The project has drawn attention from SACCOs and Chamas from many counties including Nakuru, Laikipia, Makueni, Nairobi, Kajiado and Uasin Gishu. So far, over 28 SACCOs and Chamas have visited the project.