Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 2,900 elderly persons have been registered to benefit from the Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment-SAGE program in Kampala.
This is the first time that the elderly persons in Kampala are enrolled to benefit from the program since its inception 10 years ago.
Through the grants, the government gives out a monthly stipend of 25,000 Shillings to persons aged above eighty in different parts of the country.
Speaking at the launch of the program on Friday at Kitebi Primary School in Lubaga Division, Harriet Mudondo the Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA Director for Gender, Community Services and Production said that 2,932 have been registered.
Each beneficiary is entitled to 25,000 shillings but shall receive 150,000 shillings to cover the previous six months.
Centenary and Post Bank were selected to channel the payments to the beneficiaries.
One of the beneficiaries Thomas Kisembo, 83 was happy to receive the money saying it is a good gesture by the government to have a token for the older people across the country. He says such initiatives are an indication that older persons are recognized in society.
Kisembo who is a resident of Kitebi in Lubaga Division is however concerned about the mode of payment. He says that it is unfair to ask the elderly to travel long distances to access payments when their transport costs are higher than the money they receive.
Damali Kibirige, 62, another resident asked the government to lower the age of beneficiaries to 60 years. She says at 60, a large number of people are already struggling to survive.
George Oriach, a member of the National Council of Older Persons asked the government to increase the monthly stipend.
In 2010, Parliament’s Gender Committee recommended rolling out SAGE to all districts.