Assessing the Conribution of Senior Citizen Grant Transfers Towards Improving Food Security Among Older Persons: a Case Study of Lwamata Sub-County Kiboga District
Author: KAJUBI PATRICK
Supervisor: Pius Ddumba Matovu
While longevity of life should be celebrated as one of humanityís achievements, it is absurd that ageing is a major risk factor as the elderly in many African countries Uganda, inclusive, are experiencing the syndromes of poverty like food insecurity, malnutrition, starvation, this study was carried out to analyze the contribution of Senior Citizens Grant Transfers towards improving food security among older persons, using a case study of Lwamata Sub- County of Kiboga District. The objectives of the study were to assess the contribution of Senior Citizens Grantsí towards improving food security for older persons, to analyze the challenges faced by beneficiaries using the Senior Citizens Grant and to find out the copying mechanism for older persons after the introduction of senior citizens grant transfers. The study was purely qualitative with a total of 52 respondents. Using a case study design of Lwamata Sub-county. Among the interviews were the SCG beneficiaries, CDO, Post Bank agents and other selected community members.
It was realized that the programme has contributed to lives of the elderly by improving on their food security, increase on food supply and improving their health through eating nutritious foods and also reduced too much dependency which encouraged them to engage out agricultural production.
Despite the overwhelmingly positive experiences of the cash transfers, respondents identified some important implementation shortcomings of the program, for example, recipients interviewed felt that, the process through which they get the funds has to be revised as its very hectic like walking long distances to pay centers, insufficient funds given to them dependency on the funds, limited pay centers which all required immediate attention so as old peopleís lives could be improved.
Respondents mentioned some of the coping mechanisms that help them supplement on Senior Citizens Grants included engaging in casual labour, turning to immediate family and social networks, participating in self-help groups and associational arrangements, borrowing from friends and relatives, selling assets, reducing consumption, and hiring casual labourers to work in the garden. And this was said to be common for many people in the study area.
The study conclusion registered a positive contribution of senior Citizens Grant Transfers towards improving food security a mong older person, though this was to a small extent. This was due to the insufficient funds to cater for the so many needs of the elderly, distance to the pay centres was too long for such an aged population and therefore is a risk of dependency on that small money.
In the study, the researcher recommended to increase on the pay centers by the Ministry of Gender and Economic planning, increase on the money given to the old people so as to sustain their lives, sensitize the beneficiaries on how to use Senior Citizens Grants, improve timely payment atleast twice a month, provide raw seed to the old people to help them increase on the production and supply.