Mzee Korgoren arap Kaplelach alias Buket who is still able to see quite some distance away, speak coherently and has all his hearing sense intact, is all grateful to President Uhuru Kenyatta for initiating Inua Jamii Cash Transfer programme for the elderly persons.
Mzee Korgoren who was born in 1920, now turning a century hero, belongs to the first Chumo age set of the Kalenjin community. He says the government’s decision to look after the welfare of the senior citizens through the Cash Transfer was a good gesture and a milestone move ever to be made during his lifetime.
“I heard that the son of Jomo Kenyatta has honored us, the senior citizens of this country, with some token to buy ourselves food, medicine and a blanket to keep us warm during this rainy season,”. Mzee Korgoren said.
When KNA visited Korgoren at his Lalagin home village in Kericho, we found him seated in his small mud house with tin roof. His grandson, Kibet Korgoren, a form three student at Tengecha High School, was assisting him wash his legs as well as applying some little oil to keep the aging skin smooth, tender and clean.
“I received my 8,000 shillings a few days ago through my son who had gone to collect the money on my behalf since I cannot walk to the bank to pick them,” Mzee Korgoren beamed.
In Kapsiya, Belgut Constituency in Kericho, a distraught 83-year-old disabled mother, Esther Chemutai Ngeno, is not so lucky, she was not among the elderly persons who received their rations.
Mama Esther says that she last received the Cash Transfer in 2018. Speaking to KNA in her home the mother narrated her ordeal in the hands of the authorities whom she claimed has not helped her get the money since then.
“I have attempted to raise the issue with the relevant offices since then, but all have not borne any fruits,” mama Esther lamented.
The news in the media got the attention of the Principal Secretary PS for State Department for Social Protection, Nelson Marwa, who promised to look into the issue.
The National Government under the Inua Jamii initiative is now in the process of paying Sh.166, 168,000 to 20,771 beneficiaries in Kericho County. Kericho County Director, Social Services, John Obutu said.
Obutu added that the money will be paid to three groups, the older persons, Persons with Severe Disability PWDs and Orphans and Vulnerable Children OVCs to help them mitigate against the effects of the coronavirus challenges.
The County Director said the payments will be made through the Kenya Commercial Banks, Cooperative and Equity Banks in Kericho. The money will also be channeled through the banks agents, Obutu said.
“Each of the beneficiaries will receive Sh 8,000 being payment for the months of January- February and March-April, 2020, Obutu said.
The money is meant to cushion vulnerable groups from the negative effects of the COVID-19 as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Because of the possible dangers of Covid-19, beneficiaries are being urged not to crowd at the local bank branches and instead are advised that the funds will remain in their accounts for a period of six months, hence there is no need for all of them to rush to banks to collect their money at the same time. Obutu said.
The Kericho Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Muyesu Ndarusi, while appreciating the government effort to pay the beneficiaries the money, urged the recipients to observe the government directive on Covid-19 by washing or sanitizing their hands, observing social distance and wearing face masks during the payments.
Ndarusi urged the banks to utilize mobile banking by moving to various locations in a bid to prevent crowding by beneficiaries at payment points.
He added that the banks should ensure that biometric devices are cleaned and regularly sanitized.
The DCC said that Security and health officers will be available to assist the beneficiaries at pay points as well as to ensure they adhere to the Ministry of Health guidelines.
In Kericho there are 15,633 older persons who have been enrolled in the Inua Jamii programme, with 617 People who are Living with Disabilities (PWDS) and 5,651 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs).
The Kericho County Director of Children, Ms. Jane Rono, urged the beneficiaries to ask for official receipts for the money they receive, she said that the receipts will help them to address any complaints that would arise during or after the payments.
The Government has released Sh.8,754,196,000 for payment to 1,094,238 Inua Jamii beneficiaries across the Country.
The payments come at a time when the country and the world over are fighting the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
By Dominic Cheres