The government through the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection disbursed Sh.221 million in April to cushion vulnerable people in Turkana County.
The County Coordinator for Children Services, Julius Yator said the disbursement, totaling Sh.221, 808, 000, came at an opportune time to assist the 27, 726 people under the Inua Jamii program cope with the economic challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The beneficiaries included orphans and vulnerable children, older persons, and persons with disabilities. “Each beneficiary received Sh.8, 000 in their bank accounts,” said Yator.
He said there were 14,997 people under the orphans and vulnerable children bracket who received a total of Sh.119, 976, 000.
Older persons cash transfer benefitted 11,849 persons with their cumulative package totaling Sh.94, 792, 000 while a total of Sh.7, 040, 000 went to 880 persons living with disabilities.
Yator said the disbursement of funds experienced a few hitches like social distancing guidelines and technological challenges.
“Social distancing was a new phenomenon as the beneficiaries turned up to collect the funds. We were however able to address this challenge and ensured we protected the older persons,” he said.
The M-banking new technology also proved to be a challenge since some beneficiaries were not familiar with the technology.
In addition, older persons had little information on Covid-19 pandemic and had difficulty understanding the social distancing guidelines.
The County Commissioner (CC), Muthama Wambua and the Deputy County Commissioner for Turkana Central, Alexander Mativo have been at the forefront in advocating for social distancing guidelines.
Wambua has also assured residents of government support for needy households while at the same time, calling other partners to join the government in fighting Covid -19 pandemic.
“Covid-19 pandemic is a new challenge and we all need to work together to combat this scourge,” said Wambua.
President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Inua Jamii cash transfer programme in 2015 to cater for the underprivileged in society and boost economic growth.
The programme was projected to disburse Sh.12 billion annually at a Sh.2, 000 monthly stipend per beneficiary.
By Peter Gitonga