Kisumu allocates Sh5m to sanitary towels for poor girls
KISUMU City Council has initiated a programme aimed at keeping girls from poor families in schools during their menstrual cycles. The council yesterday allocated more than Sh5 million in its current budget to supply girls from poor families who cannot afford sanitary towels with the commodity for the next one year.
Kisumu mayor Sam Okello said the council took this step to ensure girls get equal education opportunity as their male colleagues. He said the pads will be supplied in both primary and secondary school within the council jurisdiction. Adding that the council is seeking more partners to reach out to as many girls as possible. “This is our Maiden Program, we started it out of the need by many poor girls who not only miss school every month but are also at risk of contacting disease due to use of sub standards materials,” said Okello.
Research shows that school girls from poor backgrounds are often forced to scavenging for used and discarded pads; or use old cloths, toilet paper, bits of mattresses, or sheets of newspaper as makeshift pads. “Some girls, in an effort to scrape together enough money for buying sanitary pads and to stay in school indulge in irresponsible sexual behaviours which have negative impacts on their health,” he explained. “We have an additional Sh4.8 Million bursary which will directly assist poor children get education and an additional Sh2.5Million for the children Homes within the council,” added Okello.