One of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial valves and pumps, KSB has donated 900 pads valued at about N$9000 to Big Help Namibia, a local community non-profit organisation based in Windhoek as part of their ongoing pad project. Another beneficiary is the Green Leaves Primary School in Windhoek’s Okahandja park.
According to KSB Marketing officer and Assistant Financial Accountant Tresia Awene, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a key aspect of the company’s annual program. “KSB Namibia is people-oriented and cares about the well-being of the community it is operating from,” she said, adding that the donation is aimed at addressing period poverty in the country.
KSB is a global company that specializes in selling and servicing quality pumps, pump spares and valves to different sectors such as mining, water, energy, and general sectors.
A report by Action Aid, one in ten girls in Africa misses school because they don’t have access to sanitary products. Globally, there are 2.3 billion people that live without basic sanitation. About 73 percent live in homes without sufficient hand-washing facilities, the report said.
This exacerbates period poverty, as it makes it almost impossible for women and girls to manage their periods. In many places around the world, menstruation products are very hard to access due to high prices. Although these products are a necessity, many countries still tax them.
In Hungary, the tax rate on feminine hygiene products in 2020 is 27 percent, followed by Sweden and Mexico with 25 percent and 16percent respectively. Some of the countries where female sanitary items are tax-free include Ireland, Malaysia, Tanzania and Lebanon.
While in Namibia, the Ministry of Finance announced that Value Added Tax (VAT) will not be charged on sanitary pads as of 1 January 2023. All other menstrual hygiene products will continue to be taxed as ‘luxuries’.
It is reported that the deputy finance minister, Maureen Hinda-Mbuende in November 2022 tabled a bill in the National Assembly that proposed the supply of sanitary pads be included in the list of items that are zero-rated for VAT to lower the costs of the product in general.
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani 2016 tabled a motion in parliament, saying the government should see to it how it can make sanitary pads more affordable for every girl in Namibia.
Last year, Deputy Information Minister Emma Theofelus received the United Nations Population Award for her work advocating for women’s empowerment and adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Namibia.
Theofelus advocated for the abolishment of VAT on sanitary products to enhance affordability.