By Agnes Nantambi
Elder people in Mukono district have asked government to speed up the process where they can benefit from the elderly grant which was launched by Government.
The elderly claim they have a number of orphans who need assistance but they currently have no capacity to provide them with the basic needs.
Speaking after receiving gifts from Life of Hope Aids orphans’ Child Care Ministries at the orphanage’s home in Namakwa village in Nakisunga sub-county in Mukono District, the elderly complained that they have never benefited from any government programme yet they are also Ugandans.
“We heard about this money from radio stations but for us who love this government most have never benefited from any programme yet we have so many orphans depending on us,” one of the elder person Najjuka said.
Wilson Ochwo the secretary of the village said Mukono has a large population of elder people yet most of them are leaving in a miserable life.
“There sons and daughters past away and left them with orphans but the situation they are leaving in is very miserable, the accommodation is very poor, the feeding is very poor ,some cannot educate these orphans so you find that they are really in a miserable situation.
Ochwo asked government to use Local councils to track down on the number of elderly on the ground so that they can help them with their children.
“Let all government programme also benefit the old ones, reach at the ground and also ensure that you help them,” Ochwo said.
Pastor Christopher Kyobe the executive director of Life of hope Aids Orphans care Ministries observed that elderly people across the country have been forgotten yet they played an important role of setting a better legacy the country is moving on.
“Much as my calling is about street children, many times elderly people in Uganda are not catered for, many times words are said about helping them but nothing is done on the ground.
Many of them have no helpers yet they have orphans with no support,” he said
The Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment of Elderly people worth 40 million pound is being implemented by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development with support from UK Aid, Irish Aid and UNICEF.
The scheme provides sh23, 000 per month to the elderly and other vulnerable groups such as child-headed families, single mothers and the disabled.
It is being piloted for the next five years in 14 districts of Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kole, Nebbi, Zombo, Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Amudat and Napak.
According to Simon Omoding, the communications manager of the Expanding Social Protection Programme in the gender ministry, the scheme would cover 600,000 individuals and 95,000 households in the pilot districts.
While the initial sum is sh23, 000, beneficiaries will get a 5% increment annually and Cash is delivered monthly to the beneficiaries through a mobile money system.