SUPPORT

Safaricom waives M-Pesa fees for Sh1billion drought funds

Food insecurity affects over 2.5 million people in the country as a result of insufficient rains

In Summary
  • More than 360,000 homes in the 23 arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) counties will receive Sh3,000 monthly
  • This  part of its intervention efforts after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared a national disaster in parts of the country in September.
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa at a past event.
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa at a past event.
Image: FILE

Safaricom will free of charge wire Sh1 billion in government funds to households in drought-stricken counties via its mobile money platform M-Pesa. 

More than 360,000 homes in the 23 arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) counties will receive Sh3,000 monthly under the agreement with the State Department of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizen Affairs, and Special Programmes.

Public Service cabinet secretary Margret Kobia said the cash transfers have proven as the most effective way to reach vulnerable persons in times of emergency.

''The use of digital financial systems such as M-Pesa will not only ensure we continue supporting cashless transactions as a recommended measure in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic but will also enhance efficiency and accountability,” Kobia said.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa stated that the telco has also waived transaction fees for the beneficiaries.

“We are delighted to partner up with and support the government’s nationwide efforts to provide immediate relief to affected households in ASAL counties,''Ndegwa said.

He said the firm has  waived transaction fees in addition to facilitating direct cash transfers via our M-Pesa bulk payment service to the beneficiaries to receive the full amount of Sh3,000,” Ndegwa said.

The telecom charges Sh51 and Sh50 to transfer and withdraw Sh3,000, respectively. Unregistered users are charged Sh112 per transaction.

The government’s money transfer programme is part of its intervention efforts after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared a national disaster in parts of the country in September.

Food insecurity affects over 2.5 million people in the country as a result of insufficient rains, which is exacerbated by the damage caused by desert locust invasions, particularly in northern Kenya.