16,089 elders in Kisumu receive Inua Jamii

The National Government, through the State Department of Social Protection, has supported 16,089 older persons and 1,167 People with Severe Disabilities living in Kisumu County, under the Inua Jamii Cash Transfer program since it was started in 2010.

According to the Kisumu County Coordinator for Social Development, Dr. Lynett Odida, each beneficiary will be paid a total of Sh.8,000 to cover the four-month delay.

The Government initiated the program with the aim of cushioning the vulnerable members of society and improving their livelihood. It focuses on the elderly persons aged above 70 and Persons with Severe Disabilities in society.

Since its inception, it has continued to better the credit worthiness of the beneficiaries, since they are assured of an income hence giving them an opportunity to save money, invest in assets such as animals and poultry, as well as buy iron sheets to improve their living standards.

Odida said she has formulated a measure used to identify these people known as target search which involves a community participatory approach that aims to identify these groups of people easily.

“We involve chiefs and their assistants to mobilize people for a forum where we list and identify committee members to ascertain that the beneficiaries’ are indeed from poor households,” she explained.

Additionally, she alluded that the process of validation is to ensure that the beneficiary is a Kenyan citizen, not under a government pension, not enrolled in any other Cash Transfer program and is residing in a particular location for more than a year.

Odida noted that the beneficiaries are allowed to register and transact with specific government-chosen banks, which are given contracts such as National Bank, Cooperative Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Equity, Post Bank and Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT).

A caregiver is necessary considering the age of the beneficiaries and a case of severe disability to guide them during the Cash Transfer services and collect money for them when they are inaccessible.

However, she highlighted that the government has continued to experience challenges like lack of proof of life where a beneficiary has died and the caregivers continue to receive the benefits.

Odida stated that she receives complaints from the beneficiaries, citing that their caregivers misappropriate their funds and exploit them whenever they help during the cash withdrawal process.

“Due to cases of exploitation of the beneficiaries’ money, we have encouraged them to come in person and change the preferred caregiver whom they trust,” Odida reiterated.

She urged the Government to enroll additional people in the program, so as to give a chance to those who were not registered then but have attained the required age at the moment.

Moreover, she added that in terms of concentration, the Kisumu Central Business District (CBD) has fewer older persons enrolled in the cash transfer program than in the rural areas.



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