The Mombasa Island Assistant County Commissioner (ACC), Luka Nyaga has reiterated the government’s commitment to fighting drug abuse and supply in the coastal town.
Speaking on Friday during the commemoration of this year’s International Day against Drugs and Illicit Trafficking at Swahilipot Hub Mombasa, Nyaga said the mandate of fighting drugs is domiciled in the Ministry of Interior and countless drugs have been nabbed and destroyed, including the recent ship consignment burnt by the President.
The administrator said the government is dealing with the demand for the drugs and the suppliers so as to put a stop to the widespread trend of risking the lives of innocent people and rendering them unproductive.
“When we are dealing with the supplies side, we are dealing with the traffickers that is why we destroy all instruments engaged in drugs,” said Nyaga.
He added that at the government level, they burn any drugs seized to avoid a long chain of handling which might end up in the hands of the perpetrators or targeted members of the public.
The ACC said the demand for drugs was due to their availability thus stressing on the need to cut the supply to reduce demand for the destructive drugs including bhang, heroin and cocaine among others.
The administrator said the government has established rehabilitation centres and partner rehabilitation centres in the area, including the new Miritini rehabilitation centre catering for 104 drug addiction cases for medical assisted therapy among others.
He said the government has equally partnered with other private rehabilitation centres like Reachout and others in an effort to rehabilitate those ready to change and be reintegrated to the society.
Nyaga said everyone in the country has been affected by drugs including officers in government hence the need to seek ways to bring them back to sanity.
“We have officers employed by the government sent to these rehabilitation centers as counselors in matters related to drugs which are entrenched in the Ministry of Interior’s service charter,” he said.
“This is why every day we frustrate Mama pima at the village level for selling illicit brews during unofficial hours which render people unproductive resulting from daily drinking rather than working,” Nyaga noted.
Makame Ngwando who was an addict for 32 years gave his testimony, saying it took the hand of rehabilitation to save him from the slavery of addiction and he is now recovered for the last four years.
He advised those who had not started taking drugs not to attempt since once a slave of the drugs, one cannot come out unless under a miracle.
Another recovered addict, Emma Musau, a mother of three who had neglected her children is grateful as she is now working and fully recovered after rehabilitation.
She called on the society to love addicts since isolation is what led many to addiction for feeling unloved or uncared for.
Emma requested for more rehabilitation centers to be built with some solely dedicated for women since in Mombasa, there was only one catering for them.
She said most women have fallen prey to drugs and there was need for them to be taken care of since they have special needs including getting pregnant when attacked by men when they were under the influence of drugs.
A Director for medical assisted therapy based in Mombasa, Dr. Abdul Alim said the aim of introducing the new approach was to reduce HIV infections that happened when drug addicts shared injections.
He said the medical assisted therapy has had a ripple effect including less government spending on the fight against the AIDS since they catered for 18, 750 addicts in Mombasa alone.
By Joseph Kamolo