Sh1.9 billion spent on schoolgirls sanitary towels in six years
Taxpayers have spent Sh1.9 billion for provision of sanitary towels to girls in public basic education institutions over the past six years.
The government says 11.2 million girls have benefited from the programme initiated by the Ministry of Education in the 2011/2012 financial year.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed told education
House committee that the introduction of the programme has enabled girls to stay in school uninterrupted, increasing retention in target schools.
The CS was responding to a question raised by Kiambu woman representative Gathoni Wa Muchomba who wanted to know the implementation status of the provision of sanitary towels to girls in public basic education institutions.
The CS told the lawmakers that she does not know why the programme was transferred from the Education ministry but said she has no problem with the move as it is still being implemented well even in the different ministry.
“The provision of sanitary towels to all girls registered and enrolled in public basic institutions is intended to mitigate existing regional gender disparities in access, equity, retention, transition and achievement in education as a component of the right to access to education,” Ms Amina told the committee.
She said the criteria used in identifying the benefiting schools took into account ASAL/ slum features, national poverty index, gender parity index and reports from education county offices. The CS however told the committee chaired by Tinderet MP Julius Meli that that the lack of incinerators to dispose the sanitary towels poses a challenge to the environment. There is an urgent need, he said to construct incinerators in schools and explore other sustainable ways of disposal.
“The ministry has however commenced an intensive school infrastructure expansion and re-construction process in line with set quality assurance standards to guarantee ample sanitation facilities including sanitary disposal facilities,” Ms Amina said adding that most schools dispose sanitary waste in pit latrines while those in urban areas use sanitary bins.