Mobile cash transfers put the bank in the beneficiaries’ hands, or even in a house, says one beneficiary.
According to Lesotho Communication Authority (2017:13), about two point three eight (M2.38) Million people in Lesotho are using cell phones, so it makes it easier to save and transfer money from one person to the next.
“mobile money saves us the trouble to travel to town where the banks are. We save transport fares and bank charges because from my doorstep I can get my money and or buy groceries in one place”, says Mme Malebusetsa Matela of Makhunoane in Butha-Buthe.
This was discovered during the monitoring exercise that the Lesotho Red Cross Society’s Monitoring and Evaluation team together with Community Engagement and Accountability Officer had partook during baseline of the project.
This was done to see if the project was going to be successful or not based on the modality that was to be used to transfer money to the beneficiaries from the three districts that the Society through Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is supporting. These districts are Butha-Buthe, Mokhotlong and Thaba-Tseka respectively.
In this case the beneficiary’s money would be safe especially when they have already bought their basic needs and they still have some cash in their wallets. Instead of going to towns where there are Auto-teller Machines (ATMs) and incurring transport fares, they just have to take a ten minutes’ walk to cash out or to buy food in their local or village Mobile cash transfer Agents.
These Mobile phones reduced corruption since in order to access Both Mpesa and Ecocash; one has to have PIN which is personal and confidential.
The Cash Transfer project is part of the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It started in March 2020 by giving each Household an amount of M151.00 plus a M10.00 additional charges per month per member, which was then multiplied by the total number of beneficiaries in a household.
In nutshell, if there were five members in a household, M151.00 was multiplied by five which is M755.00. beneficiaries have been changed through this project since they were able to eat as well as doing something, they would earn their living on. The Cash Transfer was done for three months from March to May 2020.
In addition, the beneficiaries will receive vegetable and field seeds for the next planting season. Lesotho Red Cross Society project is as a result of the Appeal made by the former Prime Minister of Lesotho Dr. Thomas Motsoahae Thamae when declaring state of emergency on drought in October 2020.
LIST OF REFERENCES
Lesotho Communications Authority (2007:13). The state of ICT in Lesotho (2016). Old Europa Maseru; Lesotho. Communication Authority