May 28th is celebrated as Global Menstrual Hygiene Day and this year the theme is making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030. The overarching goal is to build a world where no one is held back because they menstruate.
Improving menstrual hygiene through collaboration
At Dig Deep we are currently working on projects to improve menstrual health in Bomet County, in collaboration with our partners. Our goal is to develop effective solutions to the challenges people experience during their periods. The menstrual health of women and girls is too often considered a secondary priority when we think about water and sanitation.
We are taking an integrated approach to put menstrual health at the forefront of our work. We understand there are lots of ways to progress menstrual health: be it through advocacy, education, knowledge generation, or improvements to infrastructure. In 2017, we were part of a successful campaign, supported by the First Lady, that lobbied the government to provide free sanitary pads to school girls in Kenya.
We know that having access to sanitary products in school will help girls to thrive in their education. However, we also need the education to support proper menstrual hygiene management (MHM), and this is something Dig Deep is working with our partners to achieve. With the Department of Education, we are working to ensure that hygiene education is an integral part of the school curriculum. We are also teaching school children that periods can usually be predicted, equipping girls with the knowledge they need to manage their periods effectively. Together, we are teaching girls about their bodies and breaking down the crippling misunderstandings and taboos that often scar young girls' psyche and confidence at a critical time in their lives.
A brand new partnership
On World Hand Hygiene, we were delighted to announce our new partnership with The Clarkson Foundation. The foundation is supporting Dig Deep's water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools programme and will help us transform the provision of clean water, sanitation, and good hygiene in five schools in Bomet County. Over five years, the foundation will help provide 12,432 children and their family members with good hygiene, as well as 672 school children with clean water and 2,016 children with safe toilets.
Images from Kamegunyet School (left to right): unimproved latrines, students in their classroom, and development of Ventilated Pit Latrines.
Then on Thursday 12th May, we were joined by the Governor of Bomet, Hillary Barchok, to open a new incinerator at Ndanai Sub-County Hospital.
Nicky Ronoh, Dig Deep Project Officer said: "The establishment of the incinerator was funded by Dig Deep, thanks to our generous supporters. The facility will see the management of clinical waste generated from the hospital, dispensaries, private clinics, and schools, including Menstrual Hygiene products.
Alongside the provision of the infrastructural establishment, Dig Deep (Africa) provides systems strengthening through building capacities of management personnel on Operation and Maintenance (sustainability), as well as training waste handlers and cleaners' in Infection Prevention and Control of nosocomial infections."
Images taken during Governor Hillary Barchok's visit to Ndanai Sub-County Hospital, May 2022
"Dig Deep (Africa) has offered unwavering support in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Programs across many parts of this county, and we show much appreciation to them as the leadership of this County" said Hillary Barchok, Governor of Bomet
A massive thank you to all our supporters. Together, we are helping to accelerate access to water, sanitation, and hygiene and make menstruation a normal fact of life for Bomet County's 1 million residents.
Written by Katherine Leach, Head of Fundraising and Communications