MARACHA. 111-year-old needy woman in Maracha district has appealed to the government of Uganda to consider her for the Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE) program.
SAGE is a government of Uganda program aimed at tackling chronic poverty in the country and addressing the impact of poverty on social cohesion and the ability of chronically poor and elderly people to access healthcare, education and other key services.
The senior citizens’ grant empowers elders above 80 years with each receiving Shs25, 000 per month.
But in Nyangilo village, Worogbo Parish, Oleba sub-county, Satina Abiria, 111, has continued to survive on the winnowers she makes out of sorghum stalk peels.
“I make two winnowers in a day. People normally come to buy them at home here. I sell each winnower ranging from shs1500 to shs2,000 depending on the size and I usually give the money I get to my daughter with whom I’m staying to buy medicine and food for me,” Abiria said during an interview on Thursday.
“I was, however, told that the government is giving out money to the elderly people every month and I want to request my ‘son’ Museveni to also consider me because my health is now deteriorating,” Abiria appealed.
In Maracha, Ms Maurine Anguko, the Senior Community Development Officer said the program started in 2019 but the actual implementation was in July this year.
Anguko said much as their target as a district is 1, 777 elders, they have so far enrolled about 900 senior citizens into the program.
Abiria, also a staunch supporter of Museveni continued praying for the President as she displayed his 2021 campaign poster, saying she has survived for all this long because of the peace Museveni ushered in this country.
“I very much wanted to witness President Museveni’s nomination on November 2, 2020 as my only remaining opportunity to see my lovely son (Museveni) but I lack money to reach Kampala. I’m now only praying to God to continue blessing him,” Abiria said.
Of the five children she produced, Abiria’s last born, Ms Karolina Dravuru, 70, said life has now become hard given that her own health is also not good to continue supporting her mother.
“Both of us are not doing well at the moment, but we normally continue surviving on the little support people give us and from the money my mother makes out of the winnowers. I want to appeal to the government to come to our aid,” Dravuru said.
Mr Gabriel Ofeku, the Maracha district NRM chairperson said Abiria is one of the top Museveni supporters he knows in Maracha district.
He said Abiria started supporting Museveni’s government from the time the President returned the people of West Nile from exile.
Ofeku acknowledged getting reports about Abiria’s cry to be part of President Museveni’s nomination and promised to forward her request to the NRM Secretariat for consideration.