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County pledges to end drugs and substance use

Meru County government, in conjunction with the Meru County Alcoholic and Drinks Control Board, has conducted campaigns to fight against illicit brew and unethical alcohol consumption, saying that it has left members of the county vulnerable.

Speaking at Maua town during their ongoing roadshow campaigns on Tuesday, the board’s CEO, Dr. Muguna Mbaabu, vowed to crack down on all illegal alcohol and substances in the county.

He pointed out that it had come to their attention that the warnings stipulated on the alcohol containers and cigarettes have not been able to curb irregular alcohol consumption.

He added that 59% of imprisoned members of the county are as a result of issues related to drugs.

Muguna noted that 16% of primary school pupils and 33% of secondary school students are drug addicts, adding that drugs have curtailed the dreams of parents concerning their children as well as leaving youth as helpless people in society.

He insisted that most evils encountered in the community were as a result of alcohol consumption, citing that families have broken up, children are being raped, there are increasing school dropouts, low performance at school, and an increase in poverty due to drug influence.

Muguna called upon the culprits of illicit brews and other illegal drugs and substances to venture into other businesses since the government is on its toes in fighting the menace.

The Meru liquor control boss further revealed that they have been able to close 130 bars in the county that did not meet the set requirements and vowed not to relent in conducting their duties.

“Bars that are near institutions of learning are not safe for our children, and we will ensure their closure too,” Muguna warned.

He further explained that the Meru County Governor has purchased twelve hectares of land for the construction of a rehabilitation centre where addicts will receive counseling.

He called on members of the public to help the government fight illicit brews and unethical alcohol consumption by spreading the message against them to their neighbours and friends.

Maendeleo ya wanawake leader in Igembe South Grace Kalunge added that she would support the county government in fighting illicit brew that has left consumers suffering from mental issues as well as poverty in the county.

Jared Mutwiri, a youth from Meru County, thanked the government for the initiative of eradicating illicit brews, bhang, and underage consumption, maintaining that a number of young people have remained without families; many had jobs, while others were illiterate due to alcoholism. He insisted that alcoholism should be fought at all costs for the future of Meru County’s people.

By Kamanja Maeria and Edith Mwendwa

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