Stanbic Bank Uganda has compensated an elderly couple who lost Shs1.6m of their savings to termites.

Bicentina Alal, 75, and her husband Tito Okema, 80, who had been saving the money in a metallic case for over three years, last week discovered that termites had punctured holes in the paper notes, rendering it useless.

But on Wednesday, Stanbic Bank opened an account for the elderly couple and deposited the money.

“We are pleased to stand with Mr & Mrs Okema who unfortunately lost their 1.6m savings to termites. They opened their first ever bank account with us. We gave them an initial deposit of Shs500,000 and topped that up with an additional Shs1.1m,” the bank announced.

“In order to make it easier for them to transact, we have also given them a dual SIM phone and showed them how to use our digital channels for banking which will save them a trip to the branch so they can focus on their business,” they added.

Alal and Okema, who live with their six grandchildren in Kali-Kali village in Layima sub-county opened their savings box in June only to discover that the paper notes had been destroyed by termites.  The damaged notes are in the denominations of Shs 20,000 (35), Shs 50,000 (10), Shs 10,000 (36) and Shs 5,000. Some of the notes are damaged beyond recognition. Alal said that they have been saving their proceeds from the sale of papyrus mats, dried cassava chips, crops, mingling sticks, poultry and domestic animals. He said that they would pick a part of the money once in a while for their medication or supporting their children.