Use CDF grants for intended purpose

MONZE District Council vicechairperson Abel Hachambwa’s call to beneficiaries of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) grants to utilise the funds wisely and for the intended economic activities is timely.
As Mr Hachambwa observed, the grants are intended to support entrepreneurial ventures and should not be viewed as mere handouts.
The reason loans and grants were included in CDF was to foster economic empowerment among the local people in respective constituencies around the country.
It was envisioned that the monies disbursed to cooperatives and individuals as grants and loans would be employed in economically viable ventures that would ultimately empower the recipients.
Many across the country have continued to be empowered by loans and grants received through CDF.
The stories of how lives have been changed for the better through CDF abound.
Viable businesses have been established through such empowerments and beneficiaries have gone on to empower others.
Sadly, stories of abuse and misuse have also been reported. Some beneficiaries of such facilities have been reported to have shared the money and gone their separate ways abandoning their proposed projects.
This is why Mr Hachambwa’s counsel to recipients of these grants to utilise them for the intended purpose is well-timed.
Grants are indeed a onetime opportunity which should be utilised to generate profit and uplift people’s livelihoods. They are a tool which, if harnessed judiciously, could serve as a catalyst for economic empowerment and a gateway out of poverty.
These grants have the potential to transform the socio-economic landscape of Zambia. CDF grants, when utilised for the establishment of agricultural and entrepreneurial development initiatives, possess the transformative ability to foster sustainable livelihoods.
Empowered with economic opportunities, individuals and communities can attain financial independence and in the process create vibrant local economies.
However, the key of this envisioned transformation hinges on the prudent and judicious utilisation of these grants by the intended recipients.
It is important to foster an environment of transparency, accountability, and participatory governance to ensure that these funds are utilised for their intended purpose. Robust monitoring mechanisms, community engagement, and capacitybuilding initiatives are vital in ensuring that grants are effectively harnessed.
As Mr Hachambwa said, “there is need for significant impact on the lives of grant beneficiaries as the apparent lack of improvement in the standard of living despite several cooperatives receiving grants is worrying.”
Indeed, “we need to see tangible results in the lives of those who have been granted funds…”
The primary goal of grants is to create positive change in people’s lives and in our communities. And by investing in economic activities that generate profits, grant beneficiaries can secure not only their own livelihoods but also contribute to the overall development of the country.
The Government’s efforts to promote economic development through grant programmes should translate in improved livelihoods for beneficiaries.
Anything less than that is heartbreaking.
This is why we urge CDF committees to take keen interest in the proposed projects of grant recipients. The work of these committees should not end at the provision of these grants and loans but, using resources available to them such as the CDF monitoring vehicles, should follow up on these grant recipients to ensure that they use them for the intended purposes.