Project Lead(s): Florence Kamaitha
Commercial menstrual pads are too expensive for many women and girls to afford in Kenya, where over 45 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. An average pack of 8 pads costs approximately US$1, significantly more than the daily income of many low-income Kenyan parents. Women and girls end up using pieces of cloths and rags to contain their flow, leading to infections which when left untreated, can be a major health risk.
Pad Heaven Initiative aims to manufacture hygienic, bio-degradable, and affordable menstrual pads using locally-produced banana fiber, and to provide them to women and girls in Kenya. Banana fiber is an environmentally-friendly alternative to the wood pulp used to make commercial sanitary pads, and is widely available in East Africa, where 20 percent of the world’s supply of bananas is produced.
Pad Heaven Initiative will aim to produce 1,000 menstrual pads per day, to test the pads’ acceptability in focus group sessions with women and girls, and to improve knowledge about menstrual hygiene. An estimated 30 women will gain employment in the production and distribution of the products.