Secondary school girls in Kilifi County have been given free sanitary towels in an effort to promote uninterrupted class time.
The National Government Affirmative Action Funds has allocated Sh1 million for purchasing and distribution of 15,000 pads.
Speaking during the start of the distribution exercise in Ganze Girls Secondary School, fund Chairman Ezra Bidii said the project targets all the seven constituencies (Ganze Kaloleni, Malindi, Kilifi North, Kilifi South, Rabai and Magarini).
The aim is to ensure that students attend school without interruptions.
“We have set aside Sh1 million towards the purchase of 15,000 pads for our girls in the county. The Women Rep [Aisha Jumwa] had insisted that beginning this year, no girl [should] miss class because she is menstruating,” Mr Bidii said.
Ganze received 60 cartons of the sanitary towels but others will receive 46 cartons.
The chairman said the initiative targets girls from poor family backgrounds because they are unable to buy the pads.
In addition to Ganze Girls, other schools that have benefitted are Mwangea Girls High School, Mekatilili Memorial, Jila Secondary and Mitangani Secondary Schools.
Each of the five schools received 12 cartons.
Deputy President of Ganze Girls, Stellar Munyazi, thanked Ms Jumwa for her gesture and said the activity should continue.
Sauti Ya Wanawake Chairperson, Ganze branch, Judith Uchi, said there are more than 1,000 girls in the constituency whose learning is interfered with by mesntruation.
Ms Uchi also said the distribution of free pads will reduce the number of girls who are exploited for sex by bod boda operators.
“This initiative will bring change because in Ganze, for example, we have more than 1,000 girls in secondary schools who cannot afford to buy sanitary towels.
“And their fate mostly lie with boda boda riders who buy for them and then demand sexual favours,” she said.