The aged in the Tano South Municipality of the newly-created Ahafo Region on Monday appealed to the government to place them under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP)to enhanced their socio-economic livelihoods.
According to them, last year they were registered to benefit from the programme, but regretted that when the list of beneficiaries came many of them were not selected to enjoy the facility.
The aged, who are between 65 and 90 years, they did not understand why they were not selected to enjoy the programme though they met all requirements, and pleaded with the government to critically look at the selection processes well.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), on the side-lines of a public forum on experience sharing on the LEAP programme, held at Kwasu, near Bechem, the elderly people expressed the hope that the government would consider, and put more qualified beneficiaries unto the programme to help alleviate their plight.
The forum was organised by the Coalition of Right to Information and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), an international NGO.
Save our Environment Foundation (SEF), a local NGO facilitated the forum.
Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the LEAP programme have also appealed to the government to increase the allowances to them for their better upkeep.
The 564 beneficiaries spread across 13 communities in the Municipality commended the government for strengthening and sustaining the programme which had improved on their socio-economic livelihoods.
They comprised men and women aged 65 and above who could not work or have no assistance elsewhere, severe disabled persons, pregnant women, as well as orphans and other vulnerable people.
Madam Margaret Antwiwaa, 85, told the GNA she was placed on the programme in 2008 and because she had five other vulnerable people in her household, the GHC106 paid to her every two months was inadequate.
She praised the government for paying the allowances regularly and promptly, but said the money was woefully inadequate and needed to be increased to benefit them significantly.
The government through the LEAP programme supports beneficiaries with allowances ranging between GHC64 and GHC106 depending on the number of vulnerable people in a particular household and beneficiaries received the money every two months.
But, Madam Mina Mensah, the Head of Africa Office, CHRI observed that the LEAP programme was laudable and information about it must be intensified.
She noted that many people still did not understand requirements and criteria for selecting beneficiaries, and advised community leaders to help identify the vulnerable people to benefit.
Mr. Collins Osei, the Executive Director of SEF, observed that many old men and women in the Municipality qualified for the LEAP, and appealed to the government to take steps to bring them on board.
Nana Fosu Boadi Amponim, the Chief of Kwasu appealed to those who qualified and were not enjoying the LEAP programme to exercise patient and gave the assurance that the community would intervene for them to benefit.
He expressed concern over the lack of potable drinking water and the bad road in the area, and appealed to the Municipal Assembly and NGOs to come to their aid.