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Sierra Leone – Microcredit for public showers

MICROCREDIT: Sierra Leone youth group gets loan to run public shower

Youth cooperative, the Water Sie Boys, runs a public shower for slum-dwellers in Kroo bay slum, home to 13,000 people in the centre of the capital Freetown. Water Sie Boys received US$ 9,000 (€ 6,800) to set up
the community shower from the government Youth Employment Secretariat (YES). Set up in 2008, YES, supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), has established a fund of US$ 700,000 (€ 527,000) to distribute grants and micro-finance loans to youth groups.

“If you want a shower, you pay 3 US cents (100 Leones) and you can take five minutes, or we will give you a bucket of water. People need soap so we started to make it [soap] too”, says Sidiki Mansark who set up Water Sie Boys. “We are 20 working here – but I want to increase the number. We get by – every now and then we have to put in $1.50 to sustain our business. We want to expand it to other zones in the slum. We could employ 40 people because we always have enough customers”.

Related web sites:

* UNDP Sierra Leone -Youth Employment and Empowerment Programme
* ILO – Youth Employment [http://www.irc.nl/url/32070]
* WaterPartners International – WaterCredit Initiative

Related publications: Publications on microfinance in IRCDOC

Source: 24 Mar 2009 ; IRIN

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