Needy households in Kenya are receiving Ksh1000 stipend from the government once every week to cushion them from negative effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho revealed on Monday.
Speaking during an interview with Inooro FM, the PS said the government has identified 108,000 households in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi Counties who will benefit from the programme.
According to the Kibicho the families have already received the money following the roll out of the programme.
Each of the households, the PS said, received Ksh2,000 which they are expected to use for two weeks before the government processes the second disbursement.
The money is sent to each of the families through M-Pesa.
“That money (Ksh2,000) was for two weeks. We shall be giving them one thousand shillings every week,” he said.
He, however, pointed out that for a representative of a needy family to receive the money, their M-Pesa details must match those in their national identification (ID) card.
“If your ID and M-Pesa details don’t match you will not receive that money which is from the Government of Kenya,” he added.
Commenting on the number of counties the government is expected to distribute the money, the PS said that only the four counties under partial lockdown will benefit from the first phase of the program.
However, plans are underway to have needy households across the country benefit from the kitty.
“We are expanding to other urban areas Thika, Kiandutu, Kiambu, Kakamega, Eldoret, Kisumu and others,” said Kibicho.
On the question of how the government identified the needy families, the PS said a multi-agency team comprised of officers from the Ministries of State department for Social Services, Health and Interior Ministries played a key role in the process.
“So far we have not received reports on anyone who has received this money and is not supposed to receive the it,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta first made details of the weekly stipends on April 16 in a state of the nation address.
“Our vulnerable Kenyans will also be part of the government stipend to cushion them at this difficult time”, said President Kenyatta.
The initial plan was to buy relief food for the vulnerable families but the government opted to issue the money instead for the families to choose what food they want to buy with the money.
Many Kenyans in the informal settlement have in the recent past decried tough economic times as some were rendered jobless after businesses closed down with others scaling down operations due to tough measures issued by government to contain the spread of COVID-19.