The Department of Social Welfare in the Upper West Region has began the 48th cycle of payment of the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) Programme to beneficiaries.

Payment of beneficiaries would end on Friday in the WA Municipal as it proceeds to other districts, Mr Umar Issah, the Wa Municipal Director of the Department, has said.

He said the programme would cover 50 communities and a total household beneficiary of 3,096 and 9,800 individual beneficiaries.

Mr Issah said his outfit has grouped the communities into clusters so as to facilitate fast payment.

The grouping into clusters is done considering the availability of network in the area and every beneficiary has a unique 10 digit code which gives them access to their benefits electronically.

“The use of the E-zwitch has made payment effective and better unlike the old form of payment which was manual”, he said.

Under the LEAP program, a single beneficiary takes GH¢64.00, two beneficiaries in a household are entitled to GH¢76.00 whiles three beneficiaries take GH¢88.00 and four and above people are entitled to GH¢106.00.

Mr Issah said though the programme helps to cushion the financial burden of the poor, it was still associated with under payment, over payment and double payment challenges.

He said after the death of a lead beneficiary or when he or she became invalid, funds to be accessed for the remaining beneficiaries becomes a challenge.

Mr Issah advised old beneficiaries to always come with care-givers to help them collect their money.

He urged the beneficiaries to use the funds to cater for their dietary needs while care-givers should also provide basic and educational needs of the orphans and vulnerable children to enable them stay in school.

Mr Issah said low incentives for programme officials such as fuel allowance and money for feeding were some of the challenges hindering the operations of the officials.

Source: GNA