ISL launches sanitary pad project
Concerned at the large numbers of women condemned by poverty to using newspapers, rags and tree barks as substitutes for sanitary pads, a local non-governmental organization is teaching women to make the pads.
The director of Integrated Sustainable Livelihoods, Lifa Methie, said the organisation would soon disburse machines and material to make re-usable sanitary pads to various districts in the country.
Methie added that they were going to introduce reusable sanitary pads that could be used for up to five years. He urged the government to approve a standard re-usable pad.
“Ourassessment shows that about 70 percent of the girls in Forms 1 and 2 fail to attend school for a few days every month because they do not have access to proper sanitary ware. School attendance registers show that many girls are absent at least for four days every month,” Methie said.
ISL engaged Kotwa Secondary School in Mudzi district for the pilot project, where they donated seven machines and material to make pads early this year.
“An average pack of sanitary pads costs $2, meaning that a family with four girls would spend $8 a month on feminine hygiene products. For many poor households, this is totally unfeasible,” said Methie.
Mary Nyagato , a student at Mabvuku High school, said parents could not afford to buy sanitary pads every month. “Some of the girls use tissue paper or newspapers during menstrual periods because they cannot afford proper pads every month,” said Nyagato.
She said the ISL alternative would be more hygienic and cheaper.