At least 23 metal work artisans in Kisumu have benefited from Sh2 million lathe machine aimed at transforming their production.
The machine delivered by the State Department of Industrialization through Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA) can produce a range of metal products for garage and other industries.
Tabitha Gicheru, Senior Assistant Director in charge of Manufacturing and Agribusiness at the authority on Friday presided over the handover of the machine to the youths following successful skilling of the artisans who will use it.
Ms Gicheru noted that the training is part of MSEA’s mandate of promoting development and regulation of Micro and Small Enterprises.
“We do not just give the machines to the community, but we give the machines through associations which are then trained on how to use them,” said Gicheru.
Trainers of Trainees
The 23 artisans who benefited from the training will act as Trainers of Trainees (TOTs) to transfer the knowledge and skills to others at the Constituency Industrial Development Centers across the region.
The machine is set the transform the standardization of juakali products, with Ms Gicheru saying the initiative to empower the artisans was collaborations with other government agencies such as Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to check on the quality of the products, among others.
The beneficiaries gained skills on drilling, grinding, milling, which are some of the tasks that can be done using the machine.
“The most important thing about this machine is that it gives a lot of products within a short time,” said Gicheru.
She said new groups will however have to undergo similar training at Kariobangi Centre of Excellence in Nairobi before being given the machines
“It is a privilege to have the Kisumu team benefit from this initiative, and if well utilized, it enables the artisans to venture into mass production,” Naomy Kariuki, Director Human Capital at MSEA.
She said there will be another program to help the artisans gain skills on digital marketing to ensure their products get the most out of the market.
“We will also train them on how to come up with various innovations,” she said.
Kevin Okoth is one of the beneficiaries of the program noted that the machine and the skills is a big boost to their trade, as lack of tools of trade has been a big challenge to artisans venturing into the market for the first time.
“We believe this is just the beginning, and we are glad that it is going to transform the community,” he said.