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Equity commences disbursement of Funds to vulnerable communities in phase 3 of the Hunger Safety Net Programme

The safety net programme HSNP is one of four cash transfer programmes under the National Safety Net Programme (NSNP) collectively called Inua Jamii. The other three are: Older Persons Cash Transfer, Cash Transfers for Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Persons with Severe Disability Cash Transfer.

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Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa(2nd left), National Drought Management Authority(NDMA) Board member Abdirahman Hassan(left) and National Drought Management Authority Vice Chair Emily Mworia(2nd Right), hand over a cheque to Equity Group Foundation General Manager Special Projects Saralyn Wairimu for the disbursement of phase 3 Funds for the Hunger Safety Net Programme.PHOTO/Courtesy.

Equity has begun the disbursement of cash transfers to vulnerable households in four Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties in the third phase of the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP).

The Government of Kenya through the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) handed over a cheque of KSh558 million to Equity for onward disbursement to vulnerable families in Wajir, Marsabit, Mandera and Turkana Counties.

In an event chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and the ASALs Hon Eugene Wamalwa, members of parliament from Isiolo and Samburu Counties were taken through   the HSNP programme as the Government brings on four more counties into the HSNP programme which began in 2009.

Isiolo,Samburu, Tana River and Garissa Counties join Wajir, Marsabit, Mandera and Turkana Counties in phase 3 of the programme.

Speaking while handing over the cheque, Hon Wamalwa said 10 counties in the country are currently facing drought. “Through partners like Equity, we are enhancing efficiency and this HSNP money will reach these vulnerable families with immediate effect to cushion them against the effects of drought.

”The CS said Government had expanded HSNP to 4 more counties in response to the needs of households in ASAL areas. “While HSNP began as a purely donor funded programme in Phase 1, the Government funded 65% in Phase 2 and we are happy to announce that the initiative is now fully funded by Government,” he said.

The first phase of HSNP targeted 68,621 households in the four counties between 2009 and 2013 while Phase 2 targeted 101,800 vulnerable households for regular payments and 273,006 households for emergency payments.

Phase3 will cater for an additional 200,000 households in the four initial counties while targeting 32,000 households for regular payments and 200,000 for emergency payments in the four additional ASAL counties. Each household receives KSh5,400 every two months in the HSNP regular cash transfers.

Receiving the cheque on behalf of Equity, General Manager Special Projects Saralyn Wairimu said Equity has been disbursing HSNP funds since 2009 and will deploy its wide network of branches and agencies in the ASAL regions to implement Phase 3 disbursements.

“This programme is a demonstration of our commitment to inclusivity and democratization of access to financial services. We have 17 branches and 1,008 Equity agents in the eight HSNP target counties that are focused on serving the beneficiaries within the COVID-19 safety protocols,” she explained.

Saralyn further said HSNP beneficiaries are taken through basic financial literacy training to resource them with the knowledge, skills and tools that enable them effectively manage their finances. Beneficiaries are provided with special smart cards with biometric authentication capability to ensure security of funds and zero leakages, and so that the stipend reaches the intended beneficiaries.

“We open fully fledged bank accounts for each of the recipients and this ensures they enjoy dignity and self-esteem as well as choice on where, when and how to access the funds, whether through the branch, ATM or agency. Cash transfers, as opposed to in-kind support, enables beneficiaries allocate the stipend to their most pressing needs,” she said.

The safety net programme HSNP is one of four cash transfer programmes under the National Safety Net Programme (NSNP) collectively called Inua Jamii. The other three are: Older Persons Cash Transfer, Cash Transfers for Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Persons with Severe Disability Cash Transfer.

Equity Bank is a Payment Service Provider for the above programs currently serving 450,000 beneficiaries across the 47 counties in Kenya. Beneficiaries receive KSh4,000 every two months in the HSNP regular cash transfers.

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Atheists fault petition seeking to deregister society

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

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President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

Former Juja MP, Dr Stephen Ndichu has moved to court seeking to have the Atheists in Kenya Society suspended on grounds that its continued existence is unconstitutional.

In a statement, the society’s president, Harrison Mumia says the petition is an assault on religious freedom and an insult to the diversity of the Kenyan people.

“We find the petition repugnant to a good conscience,” he stated adding that Dr Ndichu is a Christian fundamentalist who seems to harbour paranoid fantasies about the dangers of atheists existing in Kenya.

He further accused Dr Ndichu of seeing enemies where there is none and that the society was surprised, but not shocked as religion has historically inhibited progress.

He vowed that the society would do everything within its power to defend its right to remain a registered society and urged Kenyans to support fighting the petition.

On Sunday, the society said it will be writing to President William Ruto seeking an invitation to State House, just like the evangelical denominations.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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