Foundation explores sanitary towels initiative
THE Esther Lungu Foundation Trust is exploring the production of lasting and cost effective washable sanitary towels for girls in rural areas, First Lady Esther Lungu has disclosed.
Mrs Lungu said the foundation had already engaged some Chieftainesses in the country on the initiative.
She noted that lack of sanitary pads was one of the barriers to girls’ completion of education in rural areas.
The First lady was speaking at State House when she received one thousands packets of sanitary towels from the AIDS Health Foundation (AHF) Zambia yesterday. “We are exploring the use of production of lasting sanitary towels with some chieftainesses and they have taken keen interest in the welfare of the girl child.
“I have noted and witnessed with sadness as a mother of the nation, how the school girl-child suffers in order to acquire sanitary towels in rural areas.
“This situation has affected her school calendar, in the sense that during her menses, she will be absent from school for about 5 to 7 days every month,” she said.
And Mrs Lungu has thanked AHF Zambia for responding positively to her call for action on the provision of sanitary towels to the rural girl child.
She said the donations of sanitary towels would go a long way towards reducing girls’ absenteeism from school.
Mrs Lungu said the donation would also help in eliminating HIV transmission through early sex debuts. She observed that the girl child sometimes ends up indulging in transactional sex for monetary gains to help her procure sanitary towels and might in the long run contract HIV/AIDS.
“The issue of sanitary towels is one of the key drivers to AIDS infection, it is gratifying that AHF has risen to the challenge to partner with my Foundation in this programme,” she said.
And AHF country programme manager Mabvuto Kango said provision of sanitary pads reduces girl’s potential of asking for the commodities from people who could take advantage of them.
“Sanitary pads will improve the girl child’s performance in class, leading to their being educated and self-reliant,” Dr Kango said.
He assured his foundation’s continued support to the health sector and the girl child in Zambia.
Meanwhile, Saro agro industrial limited has donated ten water pumps, twenty treadle pumps and one diesel engine hammer mill to the Esther Foundation Trust at the value of K133, 610.
The First Lady said the donation would go a long way towards the empowerment of the women, especially and ensure an all-year availability of essential foods in the rural communities of Zambia.
And Saro agro industrial limited director Ashok Oza said the donation of the irrigation equipment is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility.
Mr Oza said his company will also help provide training on how the recipients will use the irrigation equipment.
“The donation is aimed at complimenting the fourth pillar of your foundation trust which is women empowerment,” he said.
Mr Oza said his company has installed 6000 hammer mills in the last 25 years in Zambia.
First Lady Esther Lungu