The First Lady Racheal Ruto has launched the Sifa Pad Factory at Kisaju in Kajiado East Sub County that has a capacity of producing 200 pieces of biodegradable sanitary pads per minute translating to 96,000 pieces per day.
Speaking during the occasion she noted that many girls, especially those from under-privileged homes and more so from the Arid and Semi-Arid areas face huge challenges during their menstruation period due to lack of access to the vital pad.
“It breaks my heart to hear that many girls do not perform well in school because of non-attendance during this period, which accounts for 20 percent of school days in a year,” said the First Lady.
She added, “A lot of girls use insufficient and unhygienic methods to manage this period of their lives, which occurs every month. These unhygienic methods put them at risk of infections. For some of them, desperation during this season drives them to get involved in sexual activities to earn money that will enable them to buy sanitary pads.”
Mama Racheal said the risk of such actions cannot be understated as the country grapples with a high occurrence of teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV-AIDS among the young segment of the society.
According to a Ministry of Health report, the Ministry handled 45,724 teenage pregnancy cases, between January and February 2022.
Her Excellency lauded the leadership of Kenya Assemblies of God and World Serve International Kenya for coming up with the life-giving and life-transforming program.
“It is not only about providing our daughters with sanitary pads, but also about protecting them from negative life altering issues. For this I applaud you and ask that you see your work as one of giving our girls an opportunity to get an education and to live their lives with the dignity they deserve,” said Mama Racheal
As an advocate of environmental conservation, the First Lady commended the production of 100 percent biodegradable sanitary pads which are friendly to the environment.
She remarked that God requires us to take care of our environment and incorporating environmentally friendly aspects to all our projects is key in ensuring that we tend to the environment.
Apart from the Sifa Pad projects, the First Lady also commissioned the Praise Project which seeks to empower 20,000 girls with information and life skills that will help them navigate the future.
Mrs Dinah Kitoto, the patron of the project said that the outreach programme seeks to touch the lives of millions vulnerable girls in a 360-degree approach.
“We seek to equip our girls getting into adolescents for good works spiritually, mentally, physically, socially and intellectually by contributing to their comfort and peace for a brighter tomorrow,” said Dinah.
She said that the project was informed by the fact that only 35 percent of the girls in Kenya can afford to buy sanitary towels on a monthly basis.
The factory has been constructed in partnership with Hand of Hope (Joyce Meyer Ministry World Missions), World Serve International and Kenya Assemblies of God church.
The launch was graced by Archbishop Philip Kitoto, The General Superintendent, Kenya Assemblies of God, Kajiado County Commissioner, Felix Watakila, Kajiado Governor, Joseph ole Lenku, Kajiado Senator Samuel Seki and Kajiado Women Representative Leah Sankaire.
By Diana Meneto