The ministry of gender, labor and social development has embarked on training of district officials as part of the preparations for the national roll out of the senior citizen grants. The technical training which ended on Thursday at Rwizi Arch Hotel in Mbarara, was attended by district community development officers responsible for Social Assistance Grant (SAGE) from 21 districts of western Uganda where the programme is being rolled out.
Speaking to journalists, Moreen Kiconco Murungi, the programm’s (SAGE) western region coordinator, said the focus of the focus of the training was to build their capacity to lead in the implementation of the SCG at the district level. The trainees came from districts of Buhweju, Bushenyi, Isingiro, Kanungu, Mbarara, Mitooma, Ntungamo, Rubirizi, Rukungiri and Rwampara, Kiruhura, Kazom Ibanda. The districts are part of 74 new districts around the country that didn’t have the SAGE programme which the ministry is rolling out countrywide.
Murungi explained that the district technical training are simultaneously taking place in Mbarara, Gulu, Mbale and Entebe between January 07-9, 2020. Tumwine Stephen, one of the trainees, said the training programme came at a time when district officials needed guidance on how to better they can implement it. In November 2018, parliament adopted the report of the committee on gender, labor and social development recommending the national rollout of the senior citizens grant starting financial year 2019/20 which the ministry is doing.
Between 2010-2015, the ministry piloted the senior citizens grant in
15 districts of Amudat, Pac, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kiboga, Kole, Kyankwanzi, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Moroto, Nakapiripiti, Napak, Nebbi, Yumbe and Zombo. Under the SAGE scheme, older persons receive Shs25,
000 per month, paid out once every two months. The programme is funded by the government of Uganda, UK’s Department for International Development and Irish Aid.
The beneficiaries of this program are old people from 80 years and above. Francis Tahinduka, operations liaison officer, expanding social protection programme (ESPP), urged trainees to put into practice what they learnt from the training, to improve accessibility to the programme by building awareness among the target population in the districts where it is implemented.