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County to form committee to oversee supply of free sanitary pads for schoolgirls.

Neetu Shanga (centre) giving out sanitary pads to pupils of Gituri Primary School in Kiharu Constituency. The Shanga family donated 70,000 sanitary towels to the school.
Plans to form a sanitary pads distribution committee in Murang’a County are at an advanced stage so as to ensure all schoolgirls benefit fully from the National Government’s free sanitary towels programme to schools.

This revelation was made by the County Commissioner John Elung’ata during an occasion to donate sanitary pads to girls at Gituri Primary School in Kiharu Constituency.

Elung’ata that about 40% of the girls in Murang’a missed at least four days of school every month to their inability to afford sanitary pads which was one among the many factors that contributed to the deteriorating education standards.

He pointed out that the programme was deliberate plan by the government to keep the girl-child in school by minimising absenteeism and putting them at par with their male counterparts.

The commissioner added that he will chair this committee that will chair will constitute, among others, the County Gender Officer, Director of Education, Director of TSC, Police Commander, Children’s Officer, Youth Development Officer, Social Development Officer, Director of Information, Supplies Chain and Management Officer and three Principals of Girl’s Schools in the County.

“This team will also co-opt members from the County Government, civil society and the corporate sector. The teachers will help us in identifying the needy,” he said.

Neetu Shanga of the Shanga family donated 70,000 sanitary towels, a number that will cater for all the girls of Gituri Primary School for a whole year.

“As part of our corporate social responsibility, we decided to compliment the government in this new programme on sanitary towels provision. We will also supplement that by donating some sets of school uniforms and shoes to some of the neediest pupils,” said Neetu.

Some of the girls interviewed hailed the initiative arguing that it will save them the stigma and embarrassment they had to undergo through during their periods which affected their self-esteem and confidence.

They requested the county government to provide schools with water as this was a necessity especially when they were in their periods.

Jerusha Wangari, now a secondary school student could not hide her joy with programme as she narrated how she was previously forced to use old cloths and pieces of mattresses whenever she was on her periods and sometimes missing out on school during her menses.

Jerusha, who scored 346 marks at Ngoeini Primary School in Kangema constituency, reckons that she could have performed better than this had it not for the challenges she underwent since she was in standard six.

She appealed to all able women to adopt at least a girl in school with a view to supplement the government’s efforts.

“God willing, when I settle down in life, I will establish a foundation to distribute sanitary towels to all school going girls to save them from missing classes like I did,” she concluded.

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