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Government cleaning up the HSNP data in ASAL counties

The government has embarked in an exercise aimed at generating a firm list of the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) beneficiaries in ASAL areas.
Outgoing Marsabit county commissioner Evans Achoki said the exercise was a mop up to cleanse the list of beneficiaries in counties that receive monthly stipends from the government.
Speaking in Laisamis during a monitoring visit Saturday, Achoki disclosed that firming up of the list of beneficiaries in the pilot counties of Marsabit, Wajir, Turkana and Mandera in the next two months would open avenue for the government to bring on board other ASAL counties that were left out in 2017.
The county commissioner said that the government intends to enhance the building of resilience and strong economic activities among residents in the climatically challenged regions in the second phase of the HSNP.
Accompanied by the local National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) county coordinator Henry Mustafa, he said the programme had recharged hopes of many vulnerable households especially during these hard economic times occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.
The programme is also expected to substitute the provision of relief food distribution which for a long time could not assist in providing a solution to the dire issue of food insufficiency in ASAL areas.
Through HSNP, the government takes care of four vulnerable groups in society in the counties under the pilot programme that include orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), people living with disabilities (PWLDs) and the elderly.
“All arid and semi-arid counties that were not initially factored into the safety net programme such as Samburu, Isiolo, Garissa, West Pokot and Tana River would also be brought on board in the second phase,’’ said Achoki.
The donor supported initiative has managed to give money to the vulnerable groups in areas that have over the years been reeling under food insecurity and recurrent periods of severe drought now made worse by climate change.
Achoki said the new phase was not only timely and set to address poverty in thousands of households but would adequately cushion them against the despair created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mustafa said that the five year programme which started in 2017 has been dispensing unconditional cash transfers to over 100,000 beneficiaries in the four counties under pilot.
He said that the program confers dignity on the beneficiaries as it gives them the liberty to use of the cash given, adding that Marsabit has 5,670 households with over 20,000 beneficiaries.
The coordinator said that the mop up exercise was aimed at correcting access challenges that had been created by some beneficiaries who have no national IDs and bank accounts.
Mustafa added that the exercise would also seek to address errors detected from the previous registration processes by updating and re-listing the names of deceased beneficiaries with those of their next of kin.
Every household receives a bimonthly stipend of Sh5,400.
By Sebastian Miriti

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