About 9,400 elders in Narok County aged 70 years and above are set to benefit from the Inua Jamii Cash Transfer Programme dispersed through the Department of Social Services.
The Narok County Social Services Coordinator, David Kosgey said the elders who had been registered in the programme will get Sh.8, 000 for the month of January, February, March and April which is expected to boost them in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic.
However, Kosgey cited long distances to access the banking institutions as the one of major challenges facing elders in the area, more so a time when heavy downpour is being experienced in the County.
“Local banks selected to channel the Inua Jamii Cash Transfer should open agent banking services at the grassroots in a bid to reduce the cost of accessing the money,” he said.
The Coordinator said financial institutions selected to channel the monies include Equity, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Post Bank and Cooperative Bank that are dominant in the area.
“Narok is a vast County and for elders from far off areas with impassable roads to access the town could end up spending all the moneys they get on transport without benefiting them,” he said.
Kosgey said the elders had been required to open a bank account in one of the four banks, where their monies could be channeled through, saying the previous biometric way of getting the cash was challenging as most elders’ fingerprints were distorted and could not be recognized by the machine.
“Elders, especially those above 75 years have their fingerprints distorted hence difficult to be recognized by the biometric machine, that is why every beneficially had to open a bank account in order to withdraw money using their visa cards,” he said.
He said the Inua Jamii Initiative was rolled out by the Jubilee Government as a flagship project to support and empower vulnerable members of the society.
“The Government is committed to improving livelihoods and well-being of vulnerable people in the society by attaining sustainable cash-flow for their own social and economic development,” he said.
He advised elders to use the money prudently during by starting small businesses such as making sisal ropes and bead work so as to generate more income for themselves.
“Empowering the elderly will ensure Kenya protects its history and culture as elders are the history of the community, that is why the government is committed to promote their interests,” he said.
Mzee Tenkes Ole Naikumi, 75, who hails from Nairegie-Enkare area in Narok East Sub- county lauded the initiative, saying the government of the day is concerned with the welfare of the elderly, especially during this Coronavirus season.
“This is a big relief for us as we will not keep disturbing our children to buy us the basic commodities like food, soap and body lotion,” he said.
Ole Naikumi, a father of six, three of whom are now deceased, says he takes care of three of his grandchildren who are orphans.
“I respect the State for coming up with such a brilliant idea, I ask all future leaders to continue the initiative of taking care of elders,” said the old man.
By Ann Salaton