Elderly people flocked Maua Stadium over the weekend to get their ATM cards to enable them receive money from the Inua Jamii programme in a modern way.
This initiative was started by the previous government where poor and vulnerable old persons of 65 years and above in society are given Sh2000 every month to support their upkeep and survival.
The stipend is paid through select banks including KCB, Equity, Co-operative and Post Bank. However, the programme has faced a myriad of challenges which made the process slow and tiresome.
The ordinary cards used initially required one to scan a thumbprint and failure to scan could lead one to go home without any cash.
Speaking to Victor Murithi, the deputy social development officer, said with the modernization of the cards, senior citizens will receive their money with ease since all they need is to know their pin number, which with the help of trusted caregivers, can access their funds from the bank.
Murithi further called upon caregivers not to exploit the elderly people’s ignorance as they are the legitimate beneficiaries. “I humbly request the caregivers who have the account pin number not to take advantage of the elderly, majority of who cannot read or recognize numbers,” he said.
He maintained that with the use of ATM cards, the long procedure of scanning thumbprints will be a thing of the past hence making the service effective and efficient.
Romano Kalung’e, one of the elderly lauded the move saying that he is excited that he will start receiving the cash which he had attempted twice with no avail since the machine couldn’t detect his fingerprints.
Kalung’e added that with the digitization process, he will only be required to remember his pin as he humorously stated that he can’t forget his source of income.
Jenifer Kangai, a daughter and caregiver of Monica Chororo, 86 years, expressed her gratitude to the government for digitalizing the program adding: “It has been tiresome to accompany my mother every time the money was disbursed since she cannot stand or walk by herself.”
A sigh of relief was detected in the majority since now they were guaranteed to receive the upkeep money from the government without any challenge.
Some of the senior citizens observed that their children neglected them, thereby leaving them at the mercy of the public, some of whom were insensitive, without considering their age and health.
By Kamanja Maeria and Sharon Gakii