Hundreds of elders aged over 70 years in Narok East Sub County could not hide their joy after they were registered to benefit from the ‘Inua Jamii cash transfer for the elderly.
The elders who came in large numbers at Nairegia Enkare County Commissioner’s premises on Thursday, praised the government for introducing a programme that is meant to boost their livelihood at old age.
Mzee Peter Pesi, 75 lauded the initiative saying the government of the day is concerned with the welfare of the elderly unlike the previous regimes where the elderly were left under the care of their relatives and care givers.
This is a big relief for us as we will not keep disturbing our children to buy us the basic commodities like food, soap and body lotion, he said.
Pesi, a father of six, three of whom are now deceased says he takes care of three of his grandchildren who are orphans.
I respect the state for coming up with such a brilliant idea. I ask all future leaders to continue the initiative of boosting elders, said the old man.
Rosemary Wambui, 74, said since her husband passed away seven years ago, she has been depending on her children for food and clothes.
Wambui said doctors had recommended her to do only light jobs as she suffers from severe backache.
However, the inua jamii initiave came as a relief to her and her family as she expects to get money to buy basic commodities.
I am a mother of nine children but none of them has a reliable job, most of them are struggling to raise their young families and I hate to always bother them to buy me essential things, she said.
Narok North and East Social Service Officer Joyce Kawira said the department has registered over 1000 persons aged above 70 years since the registration process began four days ago.
Kawira however lamented the huge number of elderly who had been turned away as their identification cards indicated they were below 70 years.
It is true that most of them look elderly and vulnerable, but the instructions are to register those over 70 years according to their identification cards, she said.
She confirmed that over 900 elders were already benefiting from the programme which disburses Sh2, 000 per month per old person.
The Inua Jamii Cash Transfer Programme is a National programme under the Ministry of East Africa Community, Labour and Social Protection seeking to directly protect and reduce vulnerability of Kenyans in the age bracket of 70 years and above.
The programme was officially launched on Wednesday in Nyeri County, though the registration began on Monday 3rd July 2017 and will continue until the end of August 2017.
In the 2017 budget, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich announced the intent of government to enhance and expand the existing older persons cash transfer programme into a more inclusive programme that provide transfers to all older persons aged 70 years and above.
The vast majority of Kenyans face an uncertain future characterized by high risk of disability and ill health and reduced capacity to earn a living.
Source: Kenya News Agency