The Department of Social Development is this month, December, rolling out a new payment model for people living with disabilities.
Under the new system, individuals taking care of the disabled are required to register them, biometrically, in a move that is aimed at sealing loopholes that some Kenyans have been using to illegally get cash meant for those living with disabilities.
“Previously we were giving cash to caregivers who were registered and would have access to the funds – our assumption was that the caregiver would take care of the disabled but when he/she (a person living with disability) dies, the caregiver would continue receiving the money,” noted Grace Kenduiywo, Uasin Gishu County Coordinator, Department of Social Development.
Kenduiywo, in an interview on the sidelines of marking 2021 World Disability Day at the Teachers Advisory Centre (TAC), noted that going forward, only caregivers that have physically presented people with disabilities they are taking care of for electronic registration will be receiving the money.
She said, so far, 600 people with disabilities in Uasin Gishu County have been registered, with 200 more expected to register before the exercise comes to an end.
“If you are irregularly getting cash for disabled your days are numbers. If you have a bank card hoping to take advantage of disabled, that card will be a mere paper if you do not present the person you are taking care of to be captured on our electronic system,” noted the Uasin Gishu County Coordinator, Department of Social Development.
Households with people living with severe disabilities have been receiving financial support of Ksh2,000 after every two months from the government in an initiative that seeks to ensure they live a decent life.
But even as the government moves to streamline payment of funds to the disabled, the National Council for People Living with Disability (NCPWD) notes that there is still a stigma that people with disabilities are facing.
According to the council’s Uasin Gishu Coordinator Berlyl Onditi, there is a need for more sensitization of the community on how to handle people living with disabilities.
“There is a lot of discrimination and stigma of people living with disabilities at the community level. People still want to separate them from normal activities, and this is because there is still low awareness about them. We are working with stakeholders to find a way that we can all treat the people in society equally, irrespective of whether they are disabled or not,” noted Onditi.