Luapula Province Social Welfare Department has disclosed that the region has 89 thousand female headed households listed on the social cash transfer programme, making it the highest in the country.
And the Social Welfare Department in Luapula says the new Zambia Integrated Social Protection Information System which the department is using will ease the scrutiny process as it is able to automatically remove people on the social cash transfer who do not meet the criteria.
Luapula Provincial Social Welfare Officer Enock Sakamuna explained that social welfare officers are currently conducting an enumeration in the field so as to update the database for social cash transfer beneficiaries in the Province.
In an Interview with ZANIS in Mansa, the Provincial Social Welfare Officer explained that through the social welfare community workers, they are able to take note of those who get married and follow ups are made where if confirmation is done they are also removed from the program as they become ineligible beneficiaries.
Mr. Sakamuna stated that the current enumeration exercise in the Province is not aimed at removing beneficiaries on the program but to confirm if they still meet the criteria which have been put in place.
“For female-headed households we target females who are without husbands and once someone gets married then they stop being part of the program,” he said.
He pointed out that under the female headed household, a beneficiary is supposed to have at least three children who are below the age of 19 years old if they are to continue to be on the program.
Mr. Sakamuna also revealed that there are led down guidelines which are followed for someone to be put on the cash transfer program and once someone does not meet those guidelines then the new system automatically removes them.
“Previously we were just using paper work to capture these social cash beneficiaries which was a bit difficult to ascertain if someone really qualified for the program but with the new system it is very easy now to know who really qualifies,” he said.
Mr. Sakamuna added that the new system is also able to pick if two people are sharing the same national registration number (NRC) which can be an audit query once such people are paid the money.
“However, no beneficiary can be removed from the program as long as they continue to meet the criteria which have been agreed upon as the system is ready to pick any new information which might emerge,” notes Mr. Sakamuna.
Luapula Province currently has over 125 000 households under the social cash transfer program whose beneficiaries are getting K 400 by-monthly for those who are above 64 years old, female headed household and Children headed household.
For persons with disabilities and those who are chronically ill they are paid K 800 by-monthly.