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Published on: 27/02/2012

As she dipped her hand into her purse she wondered “whose money is this. Is it mine or is it project money?” Meet Maria Musembi the treasurer of the Kiveetyo Kathyoli water project in Kenya. Seen as honest and hard working by the community, the members of the water project entrusted her to keep and look after the projects money. Indeed she was seen as unlikely to squander the money. But, she also had her own money. Not so much but still it kept mixing with that of the project since she kept it all in one safe place.

Many a times she could swear that the project money was ‘eating‘ her money because she found herself occasionally over stretched and unable to meet her personal financial obligations. The small pieces of paper that she wrote for the money that she had received from the project members, kept either getting washed alongside with her clothes or lost. One day matters came to a head. In a moment of great unhappiness she collected all the pieces of paper on which she had recorded the contributions received from the project members, walked to the chairman and handed them over declaring that she was completely fed up.

That was before the Kenyan NGO NETWAS intervened and trained her on the role and responsibility of a treasurer. Today she is happy with her role and so are the members of the project. “I now write a receipt for each and every coin that I receive and write a payment voucher for each expense that we incur. I ensure that the money is banked and that the cash book is updated. Today I can tell you whose money it is.” Recently she was refunded Kshs 3,000 by the project, personal money she had spent on the project in the old days believing it to belong to the project.

Vincent Njuguna …†

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