Absa Bank Uganda, World Vision commission water and sanitation facilities to address Menstrual Hygiene Challenges in Karamoja

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Absa Bank Uganda in partnership with World Vision Uganda (WVU) have commissioned facilities to improve water and sanitation for the girl-child in Abim district, Karamoja. This is an intervention intended to promote the continued inclusion of girls in education across Karamoja sub-region.

The handover of a fully functional borehole and changing room facility will positively impact 900 girls enrolled at Awach Primary School and address existing menstrual hygiene challenges. The joint effort reflects the commitment by both partners to support transformational and sustainable development for different communities in Uganda. 

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony in Abim, Mr. Mumba Kalifungwa, the Managing Director of Absa Bank Uganda echoed the importance of strategic partnerships to drive community development.  “At Absa, we believe that education is a right that every child should have access to, regardless of gender. With proceeds from the inaugural Absa KH3 7 Hills, funding was channelled through World Vision to construct these facilities to improve menstrual hygiene management in underserved communities. We are proud to witness what they have done that we believe will make a difference in the lives of girls in this community. By improving menstrual hygiene management, we can keep the girl child in school by reducing school absenteeism and dropout rates among menstruating age girls.”

The overarching goal of this initiative is to contribute to girls’ empowerment in the region and consequently reduce hindrances to their education due to menstrual health issues. 

“Addressing menstrual hygiene management is a subject that aligns with broader national and global development goals alluding to sustainable and quality education. The quest to achieve inclusive and equitable education for all necessitates concerted efforts through sustainable collaboration and partnerships like the one portrayed here. On that note, allow me to appreciate our partners, Absa Bank for taking heed to this cause and supporting the commitment to see this initiative yield to fruition. As of today, we can proudly say that the girls’ changing room and a fully functioning borehole at Awach Primary School in Abim District have been completed. This is a manifestation that when we all come together and join hands in driving transformation, great things happen,” said, Jeremiah Nyagah, the National Director of World Vision Uganda.

Group photo after commissioning.

It is imperative to recognize the profound impact that menstrual hygiene management has on girls’ participation in various activities, particularly their education. A study by the International Water and Sanitation Council (2012) indicates that a significant number of girls in Uganda experience disruptions to their schooling due to inadequate menstrual hygiene practices, with absenteeism having detrimental effects on academic performance.

Studies by the World Bank (2005), UNICEF (2012), and SNV (2012) estimate that one in every ten menstruating girls skip school 4-5 days per month or completely drop out. A girl who misses school for four days of every 28-day menstrual cycle loses an equivalent of two weeks of learning, and 104 hours of school every school term.

“With the above insights, girls may miss up to 8 days of study per term due to menstruation. On average, there are 3 school terms in a year with approximately 220 learning days a year. Therefore, a girl who misses 8 days a term may miss 24 days a year which translates into 11% of the time a girl pupil will miss learning due to menstrual periods. The responsibility therefore lies in our hands to stand together and address menstrual hygiene challenges within our communities,” adds Nyagah.

The commissioning has been preceded by special training of girls, teachers, and parents in the production of reusable sanitary pads as well as the provision of inclusive changing rooms and a borehole to deliver a sustainable and empowering experience for the girls, teachers and parents. Furthermore, this project has been integrated into ongoing area programs to improve access to clean and safe water, thereby addressing broader health and hygiene concerns.

The post Absa Bank Uganda, World Vision commission water and sanitation facilities to address Menstrual Hygiene Challenges in Karamoja appeared first on Matooke Republic.

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