ZOMBO. Grand-parents have decried high dependency burden culminating from their daughters’ broken marriages and illegitimate children.
According to the parents, they have become dumping ground for their grand-children despite their frail health caused by old age.
The parents were on Monday speaking during a community dialogue on gender-based violence and social challenges organized by the Community Empowerment For Rural Development (CEFORD) in Warr and Atyak sub-counties.
Ms Jermena Usutho, 55, a resident of Usenemondu village, Atyak sub-county said what is going to have a significant impact on the life span of the elderly is the burden they are undergoing as they toil to make ends meet for their literally abandoned grand-children.
“What is going to kill us faster than God has actually predestined is the problem of the upbringing of our grand-children because in some instances we have to pay their school fees, feed and do all those things a parent would do and yet we are too old to continue taking care of children”, she said.
She said instead of their children taking care of them, they have instead turned around to pile unnecessary responsibilities on them at the expense of their fragile health and old age.
Mr Terensio Onegi, 62, a resident of Uledhire village in Warr Sub County observed that the rate at which their sons and daughters are abandoning their own children to be taken care of by their aged parents is alarming.
He said at his age of 62, he is still taking care of at least 4 grandchildren who are in lower primary school without any assistance from his own children.
“At my age here to continue taking care of my grandchildren when I took care of my own who cannot take care of me is unfair and particularly pointing at our daughters who are fond of leaving their children to be taken care of by their parents”, he said.
According to Onegi, the little stipend they get from the Social Assistance Grant (SAGE) is not helping them because it also goes to helping our grandchildren and yet this money the government is giving us is to help us on account of our old age.
Mr Jude Ongoya, who represented the community development officer for Warr Sub County appealed to the parents to add value to their children by making sure they attain some level of education so that they do not turn to abandoning their children with them when their marriages break.
He said on average, every homestead in the Warr Sub County has least 2 grandchildren under the care of old grandparents which he says is absurd.
Ongoya said there is a need for the government to come up with specific programs for skilling the youths so that they are empowered to support their parents and their own children.