BY CATHERINE MUCHIRI
GOVERNMENT has not disbursed $1,3 billion that it allocated towards purchase of sanitary wear for girls in the 2022 national budget.
Finance ministry chief director of communications and advocacy Clive Mphambela yesterday confirmed that the funds had not yet been disbursed, adding that the process was underway.
“Out of the resources relocated for gender specific expenditures in 2022, indeed 55% was set aside for sanitary wear for schools,” Mphambela said.
“The budget funds are normally released in accordance with set procedures and in this case, the processes to release the funds are on course as this should be done in collaboration with the Public Service and Social Welfare ministry,” he said.
Non-governmental organisations that promote the welfare of girls yesterday urged the government to disburse the funds on time to ensure that girls do not miss school due to lack of sanitary wear during their menstrual periods.
Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe Trust (SAZT) director Farai Nyava said when the funds were availed, the government should ensure they are distributed in a fair and transparent manner to different schools.
“With this school term only having 45 schooling days, any delays in the disbursement of these funds could mean that the girls will not get their sanitary wear on time and this could lead to some missing school or using unfit materials that pose health risks to them,” Nyava said.
“Ideally these funds should be released way before schools open to enable girls to be well prepared as they will have their sanitary wear, and this helps increase concentration and attendance in class, as well as better performance.”
Shamwari Yemwanasikana director Ekenia Chifamba said while government’s initiative to distribute sanitary wear was a great idea, the promised sanitary wear was yet to be availed to schools.
“With the uncontrolled price hikes and inflation, this has affected the purchasing power of women to get sanitary wear. Girls end up resorting to unhygienic methods which lead to infections,” Chifamba said.
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