Machakos County Chairperson of Maendeleo ya Wanawake, Francisca Mutinda has asked those in decision making to involve and consult women in all decision-making meetings being held in the county regarding the rise of alcohol and drug abuse.
Mutinda was speaking during the launch of Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) at the County Commissioner’s grounds in Machakos town. She said more women should be involved in the RRI since drug and alcohol abuse affects both men and women.
She said Maendeleo ya Wanawake has 10 representatives from each ward and they should be involved in coordination and decision making about drug and alcohol abuse by children.
“If we involve women in all coordination activities in the County, they will do a better job in improving the lives of the children because they have all the information regarding children and the youths in the wards,” said Mutinda.
Mutinda added that the County and National government should organize training to empower women at Ward levels on how to further help and guide the youth who were involved in the use and sale of substandard alcoholic drinks.
She lamented that the elderly persons were suffering because they are left under the care of youths who are under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Mutinda said if more women were included in the Nyumba Kumi initiative, it would help them disseminate information to the appropriate authorities.
In August, police arrested five people in Tala Town with 300 cartons of illicit liquor, 2, 260 litres of molasses and 40kg of yeast confiscated during a crackdown on second-hand liquor in Matungulu Sub-County in Machakos County.
While confirming the incident, Matungulu Sub County Police Commander Monica Kimani said the liquor dubbed “STAR VODKA” and “PASHA” suspected to be second generation liquor was not approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), hence labelled unhealthy for human consumption.
The Sub-County police boss said she would spearhead a crackdown in all den and second-generation liquor shops in the whole region to ensure no illegal alcohol and illicit brew is left.
“Chang’aa will be wiped completely and trust me, we shall bring to an end the menace in Katine and the sub county as a whole,” swore the SCPC.
Over the years, the government has been concerned about drug abuse and has instituted various legislations and policies to curb drug and alcohol abuse.
It created the National Campaign against Drug Abuse (NACADA) in 2001 to coordinate the prevention, reduction and control of drug and substance abuse, through public education, empowerment and enforcement liaison for a healthy and productive country.
National survey conducted in 2017 by National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), showed that alcohol is the most abused substance with 12.2 per cent of persons aged between 15 and 65 years being active users.
The study found that alcohol use also contributes to the highest burden of substance use disorders with 10.4 per cent of the population aged between 15 and 65 years being addicted to it.
By Ann Kangero