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World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day Marked in Kiambu County

The government invests over Sh18 billion annually through the Inua Jamii Cash Transfer Programme for Older Persons that is meant to benefit over 700, 000 vulnerable and older persons in the country.

The Government has also developed a strategy to progressively increase the number of older persons who benefit from the programme to cushion them against shocks in order to live a dignified life.

Speaking when marking of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Principal Secretary for the State Department for Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs Joseph Motari said the government has further developed the National Positive Parenting Programme (NPPP) to strengthen the capacity of families to foster healthy family relationships, mental health issues, promote healthy child development and minimize the risk of separation.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Kiambu Deputy County Commissioner Caroline Amaya, the PS said families played a central role in promoting the wellbeing of elderly persons and at the same to could be the greatest source of harm.

“I want to urge members of the community to acquaint themselves with knowledge about elder abuse and report cases of abuse once they occur in order to eradicate the abuse,” he said.

The PS  acknowledged  the family institution and the central role family members played in promoting the wellbeing of older persons saying that  abuse could only be eradicated if families, care givers, community members and community gate keepers are aware and know about elder abuse, report these cases, follow the rule of law and understand how to respond appropriately.

Kiambu County Co-ordinator for Social Development Wairimu Kamau said the day was important and it goes a long way in creating awareness about the elderly abuse that has been increasing by the day.

“The Elderly should be enjoying their ageing gracefully and yet we have seen them being neglected, discriminated against being subjected to Gender Based Violence and the cases going unreported,” she added.

Kamau explained that in Kiambu, the biggest challenge has been having irresponsible children who become dependent on their aging parents with most wanting to disposes their parents of their property so that they could inherit it and this leads to abuse.

“Abuse being experienced by the elderly in this county is mainly perpetrated by children who have failed to develop themselves and want to get their inheritance by force. We have quite a number of the elderly going through a lot of abuse and even killings,” said Kamau.

Loise Wangari, an elderly woman who attended the event, told KNA that she was pleased and was learning a lot saying a lot of people her age were being abused by their own children and not reporting while others do not know where to report.

“Many women of my age are experiencing abuse but do not have the means and the knowledge to report. I would like the government to hold more forums such as these,” said Wangari

Kenya National Population Census shows the population of older persons is estimated at 2.7 million. The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is observed every year on June 15 and was started and later adopted by the United Nations in 2011 as a day to raise awareness on elder abuse, a problem being experienced in developing and developed countries.

The event held at Kibichiku  Secondary school in Kabete Sub County brought together elderly people from different sub-Counties in Kiambu under the theme “closing the circle: Assessing Gender Based Violence in Older-Age, policy, law, & Evidence based responses”.

By Terry Njueini


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