Home News Kasese elderly demand reduction in age for SAGE beneficiaries

Kasese elderly demand reduction in age for SAGE beneficiaries

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Elders above 80years of age are currently only eligible for SAGE funds. File Photo







 


Elders above 80years of age are currently only eligible for SAGE funds. File Photo

By URN






Kasese:

Elderly persons in Kasese district have asked the government to consider reducing the eligibility age for Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment-SAGE beneficiaries to at least 65-70 years.



 




In 2011, the government first piloted the programme in 15 districts, where older persons above 65 years were enrolled. Two years later, the government rolled out the scheme across the country and raised the minimum age to 80 years. Each of the qualified older people have been getting a monthly payment of 25,000 Shillings.



 

The elders say that the Covid-19 has left them more vulnerable because their caretakers were affected by the pandemic. They also argue that the fact that they cannot be formally employed means that they don’t have a sustainable source of livelihood.

 

Retired Bishop Jackson Nzerebende, the Vice-Chairperson Kasese District Elders Forum is asking the government to consider reducing the age number to at least 70 years, arguing that persons above this age are few for government to afford.

 






Nzerebende says many elders especially in the rural areas are helpless, a situation that has been worsened by Covid-19.

 



Anna Muhundi says it’s unfair for the constitution to describe an old person like that who has clocked 65 years, but when it comes to such a program, it considers those above this age. She argues that given the natural calamities that have hit the district in the last two years, the elderly deserve special consideration like the case is for Karamoja.

 



Amon Bazira, a 70-year-old from Kilembe in Kasese municipality says that setting the SAGE beneficiary age to 80 years and above has left out a big number of vulnerable elderly persons.

 



He noted that many of the elderly have not benefited from government programs like the Operation Wealth Creation-OWC due to limiting factors such as advanced age.

 

At the national level to date, a total of 304,555 older persons (179,750 females, 124,805 males) are benefitting from the programme.





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