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North rift leaders root for regulation of social protection fund

The government is keen to develop an effective and efficient framework for the identification of persons to benefit from social safety net programmes.

The Uasin Gishu County Commissioner (CC), Adirizack Jaldesa said the management and administration of the welfare schemes is being put in place through the Social Assistance Fund regulation of 2019.

Jaldesa said the social assistance fund bill 2019 if adopted will provide for a robust and systematic assessment of the marginalized and most vulnerable groups to benefit from the government social protection programmes.

In a speech read on his behalf by an administrative officer in his office, Veronica Musyoka, during public participation on the new regulation, Jaldesa said the current framework for identifying, management and administration of social assistance programmes and initiatives have resulted in poor identification and screening of beneficiaries.

The administrator faulted the framework in use for delays in processing and remittance of monthly assistance stipends as well as failure to operate and maintain a comprehensive register of all beneficiaries of social assistance programmes.

He  said it was for this reason that the government decided to develop a social assistance fund regulation framework to reduce or eliminate the inefficiencies currently inherent in identification, management and administration of social assistance programmes and initiatives framework.

Jaldesa  added that the social assistance programmes were prone to misuse and hoped that the new regulation will provide proper mechanisms for eligible persons to benefit from the fund in future.

He  further said that there was need for exhaustive consultation and engagement with all stakeholders before the operationalization of the social assistance fund framework to ensure a lasting and substantive solution to the problems of proper identification of eligible persons to benefit are addressed.

The  public participation meeting held in Eldoret on Monday brought together representatives from five counties in the north rift region including county government officials, civil society and community based organizations as well as representatives from faith based organizations and non-governmental organizations.

Leaders from across the counties supported the initiative and asked the government to ensure proposals from members of the public were included in order to make the social protection programme create impact in the community.

A  member of county assembly, MCA, from West Pokot, Solomon Angelei and a CEC from the same county, Arumonyang Joel said it was time the government streamlined the process of identifying beneficiaries of the social protection fund claiming the process had been abused by some officers who enlisted their relatives and friends as beneficiaries.

They also want the government to look for better ways of disbursing the monthly stipends reiterating that in expansive counties such as West Pokot, the elderly travel long distances to Kapenguria town to access Banks spending on average Sh.2000 on transport just to collect the monthly Sh. 2000 stipend.

By  Cynthia  Jebet/Kiptanui  Cherono

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