The State Department for Social Protection has rolled out a drive to ensure stipends are disbursed to 3,889 elderly, the disabled and orphans in Nakuru County through bank accounts to ensure the money reaches intended beneficiaries.
Nakuru County Coordinator for Social Services, Mr Nimrod Kemboi, said 38,686 beneficiaries within the devolved unit had opened bank accounts, while the rest were collecting the funds through the Postal Corporation of Kenya which the department had contracted as an agent to disburse in cash to the vulnerable beneficiaries throughout the country.
Speaking during a meeting with Payment Service Providers (PSPs) at the Bondeni Children Protection Centre, Mr Kemboi, indicated that eligible beneficiaries who had been struck off the payroll for a variety of reasons would be reinstated.
“There was a case where two beneficiaries deemed deceased were removed from the program only for it to emerge they were still alive. We are in the process of roping them back into the support program.
All beneficiaries have the liberty to decide on the payment service provider of their choice”, Mr Kemboi added.
Nakuru County Coordinator for Children’s Services, Ms Alice Wanyonyi, indicated that the beneficiaries without bank accounts have only a month to open one for them to receive the December payments.
Kenya Women Finance Trust bank (KWFT) and National Bank have joined the list of the Payment Service Providers under the new contract. Others include Equity, Kenya Commercial Bank, Cooperative and Post Bank.
Under the cash transfer scheme, commonly known as Inua Jamii, citizens above the age of 70 are entitled to a Sh2,000 monthly allowance, which is paid every two months in a Sh4,000 lump sum. Those eligible include orphans and disabled persons.
The cash transfer programme targets three categories of the vulnerable persons namely; the elderly persons, orphans and vulnerable children and persons with severe disability.
As at mid last year, official data showed that there were 1.09 million beneficiaries under the programme, with those aged above 70 the majority at 764,644. The Senate recently asked the Labour and Social Protection Ministry to add more than 350,000 senior citizens on the register of the State’s safety net programme.
The stipend is considered a non-contributory social pension for the elderly. Beneficiaries are required to present themselves physically to the bank to collect the cash.
By Jane Ngugi and David Opingo