Nirere noted that there are 800 million women who menstruate every day across the globe.
"If all 800 million of them used disposable pads, it would mean all those pads are thrown into the environment," Nirere said.
Over the years, the products women use during their menstrual cycles have increased and women now have more options to choose from.
Initially, women used to cut clothes, cotton and mattresses during their periods till disposable pads came into existence.
Menstrual products have evolved to include tampons, menstrual cups, reusable pads, period underwear and even period-proof swimwear to make women comfortable during their periods.
But women are no longer just seeking more comfortable ways of bleeding, but also environment friendly.
Afripads Partnerships and Training Associate Gloria Nirere said the world is now in an era where Climate change is a big issue.
Nirere said Afripads manufactures reusable pads as they help conserve the environment.
She noted that there are 800 million women who menstruate every day across the globe.
"If all 800 million of them used disposable pads, it would mean that every day all those million pads are thrown to the environment," she said.
On average, women menstruate for five days. In the five days, a woman changes a pad three times a day. This translates to 15 pads per cycle.
Nirere said when the disposable pads are thrown out to the environment, some make their way to rivers and farms which leads to soil degradation as most disposable pads have chemicals and gels.
Additionally, she noted that some burn the disposable pads collectively emitting fumes to the environment which leads to air pollution.
But Nirere said the main reason they founded the organisation was not to combat climate change.
"As we empowered women during their cycle, we realised we can bring an impact to the fight against climate change as well," she said.
Nirere noted that the reusable pads are gaining popularity across the globe.
On whether reusing a pad can cause infections, Nirere said the relation between a reusable pad and infections comes about from personal hygiene.
"Personal hygiene is key because even when you are not using a reusable pad, you are using the disposable ones, and you are not bathing or washing your panties well, chances are you will attract bacteria," Nirere said.
She said the reusable pad is first washed using soap and left to dry in the sun. Nirere said it is ill-advised to use the pads when they are still damp
"If you put on a damp reusable pad or underwear, then you are creating an enabling environment for bacteria in that area," she said.
She said even the storage of the pad is part of the hygiene to prevent infections from the reusable pad.
"We have small pouches in the pads which women can safely store their pads in to prevent them from getting bacteria," she said.
Afripads Head of Partnerships and Communication Michelle Tjeenk Willink said waste is averted when women embrace reusable menstrual products.
She said reusable pads are cost-effective as they last between 12 to 18 months adding that over 5 million women have embraced reusable pads in Africa.
Tjeenk Willink noted that in high-income countries, women are moving to embrace menstrual cups and period underwear, which she says are environmentally friendly.
She said there is no one solution for menstrual products, but the aim is to make quality choices available.
"We want to listen to what girls and women want to use, provide education to everyone from boys to women to men and the broader community to break the stigma around menstruation," Tjeenk Willink said.
Founder of SisterSpeaks Global and Heels4Pads Foundation Angela Waweru said she had not always been familiar with the term period poverty till she went for a pads drive back in 2019.
"The challenges women and girls were facing and are still facing are vast, wide and heartbreaking," she said.
Waweru said when the organisation does a pad drive, they might not return. But they have to ensure they make an impact.
Thus, they give out the reusable pads as the women
"We are in the business of ending period poverty," she said.
The women spoke on Thursday during a networking forum for menstrual product uptake insights in Nairobi.
Representatives from 28 organisations in the menstrual health space working in Kenya and the region were in attendance and agreed that collaboration is key to empowering women in their periods.
The goal of the forum was to bring together those with experience and interest in working on menstrual health to share insights, knowledge, challenges and the great solutions they have.
Leaders based in Kenya from Water Sanitation and Hygiene, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, Gender, Women's Economic Empowerment, Emergency Response, and Menstrual Health and Hygiene program were present.
UNFPA and other colleagues from International NGOs, and community-based Organisations also attended the forum.