Girls in Enkare Ngiro Primary School in Narok South have a reason to smile after staff from Narok Tannery and Leather factory distributed sanitary towels to them Friday in commemoration of the international Day for the girl child.
The group led by their director Mr. Joel Mwato, not only distributed the towels but also taught girls how to use them. They distributed over 1,000 sanitary towels to the girls.
Mr. Mwato said sanitary towels are a basic need for a girl in school and it is assumed that every girl is capable of meeting this need which is was not so. Without the pads a girl cannot comfortably sit in class and study.
“Our humanitarian visit today is a chance to give back to the society as Tannery and leather factory and the best way to do it is by distributing towels during this eventful day of the girl child,” he added.
Chairlady of Narok Tannery and Leather Factory Ann Ngugi, which is under Ewaso Ngiro South Development Authority said the girl child especially in areas such as Narok where cultural norms tend to withhold their potential do not get access to such basics.
“Girls in Narok especially those in the interior regions are neglected and find it hard to access sanitary towels yet it is a basic need to them once they hit puberty,” she added.
Eunice Alluso a health practitioner from the leather factory educated the adolescents aged between 9 and 14 years on the importance of personal hygiene especially during the menstruation cycle.
Jane Nyaboke from Mentor Her a Non-governmental organization, encouraged the girls not to give in to enticements especially from boda boda riders and morans who would want to defile them in exchange for favours such as sanitary towels.
“When in need ask seek for assistance from your teachers who will be more than willing to help when your cycle begins,” she said.
Christine Konyo who is a teacher charged with overseeing the girls at the school cautioned against early marriage which is rampant in the area where a girl where begins her menses is viewed as woman and ready to be married off which led to early pregnancies and school dropouts. She urged the girls not to fall in this trap.
The data from Education Ministry indicates that a girl in primary school between Standards 6 and 8 can lose up to 18 weeks out of the 108 weeks; while those in high school can lose almost 24 weeks out of 144 weeks of learning due to this biological functioning in the body.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2017 signed into law the Basic Education Amendment Act that states that the government will provide free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels to every girl child registered and enrolled in public basic education institution who has reached puberty and provide an environmentally sound mechanism for disposal of sanitary towels.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku