Lira, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Elders under the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) have passed on in Lira before receiving their stipend.
Through SAGE, the government gives out a monthly stipend of 25,000 Shillings to persons aged above eighty in different parts of the country.
Records from the Lira Community Development Office show that 24 beneficiaries died before they received the money in the first phase of the program in June 2020.
By November 2020, 13 out of the 2,029 elders who were supposed to be paid in the second phase of the program died before receiving their money.
Christine Anono, the District Senior Community Development Officer says that her office is still compiling records for this year. She explains that the age bracket is high for the sub-region, a reason why beneficiaries die before receiving their money.
According to Anono, there is a need to lower the age bracket to enable the elderly to receive the money and cover their financial needs.
Other challenges facing the program in the region are beneficiaries not having national IDs and long distances to the bank.
Geto Amule, a 90-year-old beneficiary from Apoka Parish in Ogur sub county appealed to the authorities to change her location point of receiving the payment because the distance is too long for her to walk.
Prosper Muhumuza Byonanebye, the commissioner in-charge of disability and elderly in Uganda said the elder’s next of kin can collect the payment on their behalf.
Maxwell Odongo, the SAGE regional technical support unit coordinator assured the elders that several payment points have been created within their localities.
Dominic Mafwabi Gidudu, the State Minister for Elderly Affairs advised the elderly to observe strict adherence to COVID-19 standard operating procedures- SOPs.