Sh1.9 bil­lion spent on school­girls san­i­tary tow­els in six years

Business Daily (Kenya) - - TOP NEWS - Samwel Owino smundu@ke.na­tion­media.com

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.

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