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Government to provide free sanitary towels, PS

The  Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Public Service, Gender and Youth Affairs, Safina Kwekwe Sungu (left) with the Samburu Women Representative, Maison Leshoomo at Archers Post in Samburu East. Photo by Robert Githu.

The  Government will distribute 140 million packets of sanitary towels to benefit about 4.2 million school girls countrywide in the next four months.

The  Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Public Service, Gender and Youth Affairs, Safina Kwekwe Sungu, said that it will be the duty of the government to provide free sanitary towels to students in all public schools in the country.

“This is a continuous exercise of providing free sanitary towels in all public schools in the country, this will encourage more girls to continue with school and they will no longer skip class during their monthly period,” she said.

Sungu added that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) should be categorized as an abuse of human rights in the country since it leads to school dropouts and early marriage consequently locking the girl out of developmental issues.

She called on all stakeholders to help in the eradication of female circumcision in Samburu County and challenged religious leaders to preach anti-FGM messages to their congregations.

“At independence, there was 100 percent FGM prevalence in central Kenya but the church stood firm against it and now it’s less than 20 percent and I believe the same can be done here in Samburu,” she said.

At the same time, the PS hinted that Huduma Center will be constructed in Samburu East through the Huduma Mashinani program in the Ministry of Public Service, Gender and Youth Affairs.

“There is need to fill the administrative vacuum in Samburu east, since the nearest Huduma center is 180 kilometers away in Maralal town,” she said.

The PS was speaking at Archers Post in Samburu East on Saturday during the launch of a new project which aims at reducing FGM prevalence in Samburu and Marsabit counties.

The project dubbed Koota Injena that is going to be steered by USAID is aimed at reducing FGM prevalence among Borana and Samburu communities through community dialogues within a period of three years.

Koot injena is derived from a Borana word meaning ‘come we talk’.

The  Anti-FGM Board Chief Executive Officer, Bernadette  Loloju  said the project is targeting to engage elders from the two communities against FGM and allow them to come up with an alternative rite of passage for girls in their communities.

By  Robert  Githu

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