Alarm as girls from poor families use cow dung as sanitary towels
Sanitary wear is generally unavailable in the rural areas and, when it is, it is costly and, therefore, out of the reach of the majority living in poor backgrounds. Most
Sanitary wear is generally unavailable in the rural areas and, when it is, it is costly and, therefore, out of the reach of the majority living in poor backgrounds.
Most sanitary wear is imported at huge cost which is automatically passed on to the consumer.
Traditionally, the issue of menstruation is a private matter that is not discussed openly. Many women prefer to hide the fact that they are having their period due to the stigma attached to it.
However, due to expenses that come with sanitary wear in Kenya, many girls have failed to keep it private after soiling their clothes because they have no means to buy proper sanitary wear such as cotton wool, tampons and panty pads.
Speaking to Nation Newspaper Delvine, a Class Six pupil in West Pokot County, resorted to staying indoors every month during her period.
“I could not stand the humiliation when my fellow pupils first saw blood on my uniform. Being a mixed school, the boys made fun of me,” Delvine said.
The cow dung is made into a flat shape, then dried. She dries many pieces that can take her for three consecutive months.
“I place the dung in my inner pant and pieces of cloth on top. If the blood penetrates the cloth, it is absorbed by the dung,” she said. “The cow dung acts as a sponge.”
For a woman to keep clean and avoid leakages during a single menstrual cycle they might need several packets of pads (for those with a heavy flow) and it can cost them more than Ksh. 200 per month to menstruate.