$1,2bn Sanitary Wear ‘Vanishes’

Sanitary wear worth $1,2 billion bought by government for distribution to rural schools cannot be accounted for, a Parliamentary probe has revealed.

The Parliamentary Committee on Primary and Secondary Education conducted an inquiry into the distribution of sanitary wear after receiving a petition from Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe and Deaf Zimbabwe Trust.

The ministry received an allocation of $1,23 billion for the procurement and distribution of sanitary wear to rural school learners this year.

“Out of all the districts visited, only Zaka had received and distributed sanitary wear to all the schools in the district,” a report on the findings of the probe presented in Parliament on Tuesday read.

“The school head at Mutimuri Primary School confirmed having only received a single box of disposable sanitary wear with 10 packs (120 units of pads) since 2019, while they had not received anything this year. In Rushinga district, Kasika Primary School had only received a few disposable pads and fabrics of sanitary wear material, which were yet to be sewn.”

The committee visited Mutimuri Primary School (Gokwe), Ngomeyebani Secondary School (Zvishavane), Neshaya Primary School (Hwange) and Katasa Primary School (Nkayi).

It also visited Kasika Primary School (Rushinga), Chimoyo primary and secondary schools (Mutoko), Chakohwa Primary School (Chimanimani), Mutonhori Secondary School (Zaka) and Mazungunye Secondary School (Bikita).

“The distribution of sanitary wear to schools remains a major challenge across all provinces despite the ministry acknowledging that most provinces had received their allocations.

“There is no clearly written down formula on how sanitary wear must be shared and distributed across provinces and schools. The committee noted with concern the distribution of sanitary wear in Zaka district, which was shared equally among the schools without necessarily focusing on the enrolment of girls per school.”

Reports have shown that rural girl learners are forced to miss school or resort to unhygienic means while menstruating. AlphaMedia

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