The national government has disbursed over Sh256- million to Inua Jamii beneficiaries covering cash transfer for four months’ stipends from September to December 2020 in Kilifi County.
Hundreds of elderly persons aged 70- years and above, People living with Severe Disabilities (PWSD) and Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) have since the beginning of the week been receiving their cash stipends of sh.8000 each from Kenya Commercial Bank, Cooperative bank and Equity bank respectively.
The beneficiaries for the stipends included 21, 895 Older Persons aged 70- years and above, 9,303 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)s and 826 Persons with Severe Disabilities (PWSD) in the County.
The 21, 895 Older Persons aged 70- years and above will cumulatively take home Sh175, 160, 000, the OVCs (Sh74,424, 000) and the PWSDs (Sh6, 608, 000).
Those who turned out for verification and payments at the County Social Development offices Wednesday expressed happiness that they are earning income after a four months wait and appreciated the effort by the government to empower them despite the financial challenges after the Covid-19 pandemic struck the country.
Mzee Charo Kitsao, 82 from Kilifi North Sub County said he has not been able to pay his hospital bills but now that the government has empowered them, he is grateful that he will be able to clear the hospital bills.
He said the rest of his earning will go towards food for his family revealing that since he started receiving the funds, he has been able to put up a 2 roomed house and used iron sheets for roofing it at his Tezo home.
“The government has helped us to move on with life through Inua Jamii programme. Were it not for this government initiative to empower us, most of us could have already died due to poverty,” he said.
He said despite malfunctioning of KCB machines, they patiently waited for them to function so that they could withdraw their money from their accounts and commended the government for honouring its promise to pay them.
“Some of us were despairing after spending Christmas and New Year without the stipends but we have now realized that the government does not lie its citizens,” he said.
Another recipient Mzee Chengo Kazungu from Ganze Sub County said his age does not allow him to work and that the cash transfer has helped him with his family to buy food and cater for hospital expenses.
“My children are working but cannot provide everything for me and my grandchildren and the assistance by the government has been of great help to me in meeting house expenses. This started as a dream to me but I have now realized that the government is concerned about the lives of all including the elderly persons,” he said.
He expressed his gratitude for earning 4 months’ stipends amounting to Sh8, 000 which he said according to him it would last for another three months’ even if they do not receive the same soon.
by Harrison Yeri and Breen Muhonja