The government will be rolling out a new Inua Jamii payment model for beneficiaries who have been receiving cash transfer stipends.
Through the Ministry of Labour and Social protection, the new model, known as “Choice Model”, is targeting 710, 000 people.
The model will involve the Orphans and Vulnerable Children) CT-OVC), Older persons Cast Transfer and Persons with Severe Disabilities Cash Transfer (PWSD) programmes.
Speaking on Wednesday during a conference on the migration of regular beneficiaries to the new payment module at KICC, Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary (CS), Amb. Ukur Yatani said the programme would be moving from the old card based system to the new multiple payment system based on bank accounts that promises flexibility for the beneficiaries.
“One of the important benefits of the new program is that it reduces distances covered by beneficiaries in accessing banking services as well as reducing over-reliance on care givers by giving beneficiaries more control of their accounts,” the CS said.
Amb. Yatani said in order for the programme to work, County governments needed to come up with specific road maps in the next two weeks on how they would deal with the new cash transfer programme since each county has its own unique challenges.
“County specific data will ensure that within the next three to four months data for all the beneficiaries is captured at the click of a button through an upgraded IT system,” he said.
The CS has further confirmed that the government allocated close to Sh.30 billion in this financial year under the cash transfer program where about 1.3 million households were set to benefit.
“What this means is that by targeting 1.3 households, around 5 million Kenyans are direct beneficiaries,” he said adding that since inception in 2004, the Government has spent a total of Sh.125, 685, 183, 612 with a significant increase from 2013 to date.
However, the CS asked the Ministry staff to recognize other critical mandates of the Ministry from protection of the children to the disabled members who were vulnerable members in the society.
He noted that recently, efforts have been made by the State Department towards enhancing child care and protection in the country through the establishment of the Child Protection Information Management System (CPMIS) which captures data on various aspects affecting children across the whole country.
“In the course of your day-to-day delivery of services, you need to give special attention to children in acute hardship situations from those living with disabilities to those on the streets, the orphans the destitute, the drug abusing children the sexually abused to those affected by domestic violence. It is our responsibility to link them to services and interventions that accord them hope to grow into mature, productive and responsible Kenyans,” Amb. Yatani said.
The CS said that the carefully designed migration program, whose sensitization commenced on Tuesday, shall be rolled out to all counties and formally launched on the 26th November 2018 in Kajiado.
Amb. Yatani said the exercise would be closely monitored so that challenges that came up were addressed for smooth transition.
The Head of Social Assistant Unit, John Gichangi said the choice mode would involve opening of new bank accounts for the beneficiaries and that the exercise would start on November 26 to end on December 21.
He clarified that the government was not doing fresh registrations but was only enrolling and opening bank accounts for current beneficiaries in the three programmes excluding those of 70 years and above who were already enjoying the account based model.
“One must be a current beneficiary, will have to present themselves during the bank opening exercise in their counties and must have an original copy of the ID,” Gichagi said.
What is unique about the new Inua Jamii banking methods that will be opened in four banks Cooperative, Equity, Postbank and KCB, Gichangi said, is that it would be mobile banking enabled where beneficiaries would be able to pull their money directly from bank account and withdraw from mobile money agents.
This new payment model will target 353, 000 cash transfer for OVS, 310, 000 older persons of 65-69 years and 47, 000 of persons with severe disabilities cash transfer.
According to Gichangi, the exercise during the bank account opening is free of charge and members of the public and beneficiaries have been asked to report if asked for money.
He also gave 1533 as the toll free line where beneficiaries could complain and raise issues on the cash transfer programmes.
By Wangari Ndirangu