The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, through the Expanding Social Protection (ESP) program is set to rollout the payment of the Senior Citizens Grant to eligible elderly persons in Kampala Capital City.
According to Stephen Kasaija, the Head of Programme Management Unity, ESP, the payments will begin today Monday, 10th August 2020 for all older persons who are 80 years and above with registered National ID cards within Kampala Capital City.
According to a letter addressed to the Executive Director KCCA, each individual will receive accumulated arrears for the periods of January to June which totals Shs. 150000.
“This Communication therefore, is to inform and kindly request you to carry out the necessary mobilization of beneficiaries in your district. The program will work in partnership with the COVID 19 District Taskforce, to ensure that the national guidelines are adhered to during the payment exercise,” Kasaija stated in a letter.
The Senior Citizen Grant Payment was officially rolled out nationwide earlier this year following the official launch by the President of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Museveni in March 2020 in Mbale District.
The ESP Program extends Shs 25000 per month to all elderly persons above 80 years as a way of helping them with their social needs.
However, the Project’s effectiveness has been criticized. According to the Kampala Capital City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, although the project’s intention is good, the amount of money given out is too small compared to the cost of living especially in the city .
“It must be noted that to most of our city dwellers, Shs. 25,000/- is too meagre compared to the high cost of living in the city. It is important for Government to consider several thrift practical policies and systems of administration crafted to foster healthy ageing by tackling inequalities to ensure that older people age safely,” Lukwago stated.
Some of the interventions that the Lord Mayor wants government to consider include; Carrying out informed research on active ageing to provide strong evidence, knowledge and documentation in the City and countrywide, developing and implementing a modern Policy of the elderly to promote a platform for elaboration of an Ageing People Policy and modern Housing for the ageing society at Division Urban level in Kampala.
“With this, the basic social amenities and medication can easily devolve to the beneficiaries in the shortest practicable time as we build cohesive, peaceful and sustainable societies,” Lukwago added.