Government to launch free sanitary towels program for public schools

The Government will launch the school girls’ sanitary programme in Machakos towards the end of this week, County Director of Education Mr Samwel Boto has said.

Speaking to the press in his office on Tuesday, the county education boss further said the ceremony will be held at Kithimani Primary in Yatta sub county school and presided over by area Machakos County Women Representative, Mrs. Joyce Kasimbi.

He said once the laudable initiative has been launched, the distribution of the sanitary pads will afterwards be distributed to all the 868 public primary schools and 341 secondary schools spread throughout the county.

All preparations towards the launch of this programme are in top gear and we expect to start the distribution process once we are through with Friday’s event, he said.

The programme’s main objective is to assist girls from standard four to form four access sanitary towels and in the process reduce absenteeism in schools due to challenges occasioned by lack of these basic items.

Since the government came up with this programme in 2012, a total of sh. 1.9 billion have been pumped in the initiative and at least 11.2 million girls mostly in class seven and eight in public schools have benefitted.

Last year, Treasury allocated sh. 470 million to the Gender and Youth Affairs ministry to procure the pads whose initial plan was to target girl schools in 82 former districts. The schools were chosen with a bias to those in slums and arid areas.

But according to an amendment to the Basic Education Act which came into effect last year, it is now obligatory for the government to provide free sanitary pads to all girls in primary and secondary schools.

Meanwhile, the Home Grown School program for free meals for a pupil in marginalized areas is still on course in Machakos County.

The programme is currently being undertaken in Masinga,Kalama and Mwala and is a joint venture between the Kenyan government and the World Food Program and aims to help boost school attendance in remote areas in the country.

Boto said the government aims to increase its funding towards the move and eventually be able to reach all the public primary schools in the county in coming days.

Source: Kenya News Agency