Quality Reusable Sanitary Pads Production

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)

Quality Reusable Sanitary Pads Production

Reusable pads 3

This group of women, comprised of refugees and members of the local community, make reusable pads. With the support of UNHCR and its partners, pads are packed in pouches and distributed in school. Each pouch consists of two pads, a night pad and a day pad.

The project in brief

Implemented by

  • UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency – Kenya, Kalobeyei settlement
  • Peace Winds Japan




January 2022 - Ongoing


UNHCR conducted a pilot project in the Kalobeyei settlement with its partner, Peace Winds Japan and funding from the Japan Foundation to assess the feasibility of the reusable pads business model and provide recommendations for future business development.

Ten qualified tailors were trained in the production of pads. Over 2000 pairs of sanitary towels have been produced. The project is now in its second phase of execution.

Project aims 

  • To break the silence and reduce period shame in school.
  • Support girls in school and women in the community.
  • Introduce a different product on the market so the beneficiaries can have different options and reduce waste. 

Resources used 

An assessment and an end line survey were done in 2022. The survey was on preferences and usage of sanitary towels to inform our approach and what products to produce.

A woman smiling at the camera holds up a reusable pad. There is a sewing machine in the background.

Main activities of the Good Practice

  • Production of sanitary pads
  • Sensitization sessions for everyone in the community and schools


Challenges and how they were overcome


Culture and religion

How they were overcome

  • Community sensitization for women, men, girls and boys in the community and school
  • Awareness creation and engaging heads of household

Results of the Good Practice 

  • School attendance has increased since starting menstrual health sensitization in school.
  • Women embracing the produced reusable products, which are more hygienic than the pieces of cloth used.
  • Less menstrual waste.
Hands holding reusable pads

How the project meets the GCR Objectives

Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance

  • Tailors making the pads can make a living. 
  • Women who were trained are training other women.
  • School attendance has improved.

Next steps 

Continuation of the project depends on funds from UNHCR and partners.

Further support required for the project to continue or scale up

  • More mentorship programmes for girls and women.
  • Train women tailors on reusable pads making.
  • Support women tailor groups to produce more pads for sale and use.


Submitted by: 

Pauline Kwamboka Omagwa, Communications Associate, UNHCR Sub Office Kakuma[email protected]