The Government has set aside Kshs. 250 million which is meant to benefit more than 10,500 elderly people in Trans Nzoia County in the countrywide cash transfer programme by the State Department of Social Protection.
Speaking in Kitale, Social Protection Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said the funds were increased in the current financial year to meet an increasing number of elderly people who are faced with poverty.
“Not everybody will, however, benefit owing to budgetary constraints hence the need to prioritize the needy cases. We will keep increasing the funds in subsequent financial years,” said the principal secretary.
She said the programme has been a success since its inception judging from the high uptake with the inception of Huduma centres in each county making the delivery of the service easier.
“The programme was initially benefitting about 200,000 people but the number has since moved up to more than 800,000. We intend to get more beneficiaries on board,” she said.
Mochache also reiterated the national government’s commitment to tackling the growing number of street children in major towns across the country.
She said she was aware of the problems being faced by the presence of street children in towns around the country and there was the need for the national and county governments to work together to find a solution.
The PS said it has come to their notice that several children who are now loitering in the streets are being transported there by their parents who disguise themselves as street children yet have homes.
She, however, promised in conjunction with the county governments to help those who have a dire need and qualify for aid given, by creating centres that will house them.
“We are working closely with county governments to come up with modalities that will enable us to create centres to house the kids. They have a right to a quality life like other Kenyans,” said Mrs Mochache.
She challenged the county Government of Trans Nzoia to work and ensure that all children in the streets of Kitale are taken to centres to help reduce insecurity posed by them.
Rights activists in the region had recently alleged that the programme was being carried out selectively with some deserving elderly persons being left out.
Led by Boniface Wanyoike the activists had demanded an explanation from the ministry as to why there were discrepancies in the manner money was disbursed.
“We want to tell the government that the mode of disbursement is slow as some have been waiting for four months before being paid their dues, let them help them by paying them promptly,” said Wanyoike.
The principal secretary, however, promised to sort out the issue of delayed payments, disclosing that now the programme is digitalized and will enable them to save time.