Several non-governmental organisations in Kakamega are collaborating to empower women and girls. Their main aim is to provide access to sanitary towels and address the stigma associated with menstruation. Counselling sessions and distribution of sanitary towels were held by officials from these organisations at Mahiakalo Primary School during the International Day of the Girl Child celebrations.

Salma Marita, the Programme Officer for Youth Leaders Stakeholders, said that in-school and out-of-school mentorship programmes were being introduced for girls. For out-of-school girls, teenage moms were the main focus, and the programmes aimed at developing their skills to enable them to become self-sufficient.

Nelly Lang’at, the founder of Salama Havens Organisation, stated that the lack of sanitary towels remains a significant problem contributing to teenage pregnancy and affecting most girls in rural areas.

Julia Bimulamula, the headteacher of Mahiakalo Primary School, highlighted that most girls miss classes because they don’t have access to sanitary towels. This adversely affects their academic performance. More efforts to support girls and help them access basic necessities such as sanitary towels were urged by stakeholders, including Modesta Auka, the Mahiakalo Ward Member of County Assembly.

She also explained that she will soon be presenting a bill at the county assembly for Kakamega County to allocate some budget for the provision of sanitary towels to girls. Furthermore, parents were advised to provide their girls with basic necessities like sanitary towels.

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