For several years now, water hyacinth in Lake Victoria has been a menace not only to fishermen, but also an eyesore to marine activities in Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori counties.

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However, water hyacinth is not entirely a bad occurrence as can be attested by 13-year-old Rahmina Paullette, who uses the dreaded weed to manufacture cost effective sanitary pads.

Apart from sanitary towels, the professional model and young environmentalist recycles water hyacinth into various commodities, ranging from cards and bags.

“I recycle water hyacinth into cards, bags, papers and book files. I work at Zingi Pad which is one of my workshops. I always do eco-friendly projects during my holidays,” she said while appearing on Churchill Live Show hosted in Kisumu over the weekend.

She said she developed interest of recycling water hyacinth after she went to Lake Victoria but could not access the waters due to the availability of the weed.

“We did some research and found out that it can be recycled. I had my mentors who helped me come up with another way of making sanitary towels instead of this other sanitary towels that have chemicals that will hurt the ladies and also I am a lady so I must protect my fellow ladies,” she added.

She said a packet of eight sanitary towels goes for Sh50. 

Rahmina Paullette is currently sitting her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) at the M.A. Junior School in Kisumu.