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ActionAid backs fight on drugs

Authorities in Makima Ward in Mbeere Sub-county, Embu, have partnered with International NGO, ActionAid, to fight drugs and alcohol abuse menace in the area.

The substances including bhang, alcohol and muguka (khat) have been identified as a major threat to the Social-economic development of the area.

Many young people are said to be hooked into abuse of these substances hampering their productivity.

Area Chief Charles Ngari stated that increased cultivation of herbal stimulant, muguka, for its economic benefits in the area had given rise to spread of other drugs such as bhang.

He said traders who come to buy muguka from locals also supply bhang to them leading to rise in its usage especially among young folks alongside the stimulant that is also heavily abused.

“We have noticed a spike in drug usage among the young people turning them into zombies,” he said while speaking during a sensitization session for the locals in Katharane village on Tuesday.

He continued, “it is for this reason that we have decided to take this route to tackle this monster before it is too late.”

ActionAid official and youth activist Triza Musyoka reported parents who have also been hooked into the habits had abdicated their parental roles of educating their children leading to high school dropout rate.

“It is not strange nowadays to see young boys carrying bhang in their bags to school,” she said, adding that some were also dropping out of school to work in muguka farms due to the allure of quick money.

She said the area had started lagging behind in terms of development as a result of these vices that had taken a toll on the young people in the prime of their life.

“Majority of our energetic population is drunk and so no meaningful progress can be made in such an environment and that is why we have decided to take up this matter with the seriousness it deserves,” she said.

She reported that they are also using sports to reach the youth with anti-drug and alcohol messages by organizing tournaments.

They also asked the government to sustain the war on illicit brew brews.

By Samuel Waititu

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