Juja MP George Koimburi has asked the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection to make enrolment of the elderly, disabled and orphans into the Inua Jamii programme an annual exercise.
The legislator said that a majority of deserving Kenyans will miss out on the programme should they fail to be registered by next year when they turn 70 years old.
Speaking in Juja town during the launch of the registration exercise that is targeting 500,000 beneficiaries, Koimburi said that most elderly persons, the disabled and orphans are languishing in poverty noting that the cash transfer programme will come in handy to cushion them from the vulnerabilities and also help improve their livelihoods.
“Most of these elderly persons are under medication due to illnesses associated to old age. They cannot work to put food on the table and in fact some sleep on empty stomachs. This programme is crucial to support this group of vulnerable persons to cater for their basic needs and improve their living standards. I urge the government to consider holding this exercise annually so that no deserving Kenyan is left out,” he said.
The lawmaker also called on the State to ensure that cash transfer for the newly enlisted beneficiaries is effected immediately.
“The fact is that the previous regime took long to enlist the beneficiaries and when the exercise was done it was marred with irregularities leaving many deserving Kenyans being left out of the programme. Let the money hit their accounts immediately they get registered so that can address the myriad of challenges they are currently facing,” Koimburi said.
Beneficiaries led by Mary Waithera hailed the government’s move to enlist all beneficiaries terming the move as a shot-in-the-arm for most of them who have been repressed by poverty and illnesses among other challenges.
Majority of them said that they will be able to facilitate their medication and foot their basic needs bills.
They however pleaded with the government to consider, in the near future, increasing the allocation saying that the current harsh economic situation in the country has taken a toll on them.
“We are grateful for being remembered by our government and the monthly stipends will go a long way in alleviating our daily challenges and help improve our livelihoods. We however plead with the government to consider increasing the amount due to the current high cost of living,” Waithera said.
At the same time, the elderly parents called on their children to avoid deserting them especially now that the government will be extending monetary support to them.
“Children must take care of their elderly parents and especially those who relocate to urban centers and leave their kids with their elderly parents in the villages,” said resident Felistas Wambui.
By Kamau Njoroge
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