Bit­ing tam­pons short­age to last one more month

Business Daily (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - Nasibo Kabale kna­[email protected]­tion­media.com

Usage of pads, tam­pons in Kenya

The bit­ing short­age of tam­pons could last for an­other one month as sup­pli­ers of the fe­male hy­giene prod­ucts grap­ple with im­port hitches.

Kim Fay East Africa, the lo­cal sup­pli­ers of Ko­tex tam­pons, have at­trib­uted the short­age to hitches in sup­ply of raw ma­te­ri­als used to pro­duce the tam­pons.

On the other hand Rad­bone Clark Kenya, who im­port, mar­ket and sell OB tam­pons, have at­trib­uted short­age of their brand to the slow move­ment of cargo at the Mom­basa Port fol­low­ing en­force­ment of more strin­gent in­spec­tion pro­ce­dures by the Kenya Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (KRA) and other State agen­cies.

Rad­bone Clark Kenya said the new

port clear­ance pro­ce­dures in­tro­duced late last year by KRA were an im­ped­i­ment to many busi­nesses.

“Our prod­ucts need no as­sem­bly since they come as fin­ished prod­ucts. How­ever, the de­lay in clear­ing cargo lasts six to eight weeks and this is some­thing we have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing since Sep­tem­ber last year,” said a Rad­bone Clark of­fi­cial who re­quested anonymity to en­able her speak can­didly.

The new pro­ce­dures, aimed at check­ing the in­flow of fake prod­ucts into the coun­try, re­quires all con­sol­i­dated cargo to be in­spected by Kenya Bureau of Stan­dards (Kebs) ap­pointed agents and is­sued with a Cer­tifi­cate of In­spec­tion (COI) in the coun­try of ori­gin be­fore im­por­ta­tion.

A Kim Fay spokesper­son cited “lo­gis­tic is­sues” as the rea­son be­hind the over three-month short­age of Ko­tex tam­pons in lo­cal su­per­mar­kets.

The short­age has caused wide­spread out­cry on so­cial me­dia plat­forms such as Face­book and Twit­ter.

“We as­sem­ble our prod­ucts lo­cally and get­ting the raw ma­te­ri­als has been a chal­lenge, but we are work­ing on get­ting them by end of the month,” said the Kim Fay of­fi­cial also on con­di­tion of anonymity.

KIM Fay, how­ever, said the short­age has no re­la­tion with the re­call of some Ko­tex tam­pons in the US by the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA) after con­sumers re­ported that some of the prod­ucts un­rav­elled or came apart when they were be­ing re­moved.

“We are a dif­fer­ent mar­ket and this does not af­fect the qual­ity of the prod­ucts we dis­trib­ute in the coun­try,” she said.

Kebs and the KRA is­sued a no­tice in May to all im­porters of con­sol­i­dated air and sea cargo to regis­ter with the stan­dards agency to have their goods in­spected un­der a new pro­ce­dure in­tro­duced in 2005.

The pro­ce­dure, which saw 20 firms ap­proved to im­port as con­sol­ida­tors, has been tar­get­ing cargo con­tain­ing a wide range of prod­ucts.

It also tar­gets mer­chan­dise in small quan­ti­ties or parcels be­long­ing to sev­eral con­signees who have as­sem­bled their parcels to form one con­sign­ment and which may be de­clared as be­long­ing to one im­porter at the port of des­ti­na­tion.

Fem­i­nine hy­giene prod­ucts such as tam­pons are not the only goods af­fected at the port due to the on­go­ing gov­ern­ment crack­down of il­licit goods.

In Novem­ber, soft drinks pro­ces­sor Coca-cola was locked in a bit­ter dis­pute with the tax­man and Kebs over goods worth Sh500 mil­lion de­tained at Mom­basa port.

The lack of ac­cess to the fem­i­nine hy­giene prod­ucts has been a prob­lem to a large per­cent­age of women who use it in lieu of or­di­nary san­i­tary tow­els.

Tam­pons are de­signed to ab­sorb men­strual flow and are usu­ally made from rayon or a blend of cot­ton and rayon ma­te­ri­als. Just like the or­di­nary san­i­tary tow­els they all come in dif­fer­ent sizes cor­re­spond­ing to the amount of liq­uid they can ab­sorb. They in­clude mini, reg­u­lar, su­per or even su­per plus.

FILE

SHORT­AGE San­i­tary pads. -

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