As the central Kenya region grapples with rampant consumption of illicit brews, drugs, and substance abuse amongst its youth, a section of elected leaders is continuously embracing and sponsoring sports as a way to save future generations.
The derbies and weekend fixtures being held every weekend and sponsored by the constituencies NG –CDF is not only positively preoccupying and engaging the youths but also providing a livelihood for them as winners are going home with awards and cash prizes.
Kangema Member of Parliament Peter Kihungi speaking during a tournament between Kanyenyaiini Fc and Karurumo Fc in Kangema observed that sports in the region will save the youth from alcohol, drugs, and substance abuse.
“We will continue to engage our youth for the growth of their talents even as we give them opportunities to earn a livelihood in a dignified way,” He said
“The sports have been of great help to the youth in Kangema especially at this time as it is also a way of remaining disciplined because sports have rules which have to be adhered to” added the MP.
The MP noted that his office will continue to support the youth in sports through the NG-CDF in the area encompassing all four wards in the constituency.
“We have Kanyenyaini ward, Rwathia ward, Iyego ward and upper Muguru ward where we are now heading to the quarter-finals and we are certain Kangema team will feature in the quarter-finals” he noted
In the neighboring Maragua constituency, the area MP Mary Waithera (Wamaua) through the NG-CDF has also been very focal in sponsoring leagues in all four wards as they head to the finals this weekend.
“Sports play an important role in delivering youths from drugs and substance abuse and that is why we will continue to support them to make a positive impact in society,” she said
The sports, Wamaua said, are helping the youth create connections and improve their decision-making skills even as they are given a purpose and secure generations to come.
The participants do not go home empty-handed as they are each given an award whereas as the trophy bearers and winners reap tremendously from the prizes and awards basket.
Alcohol is the most abused drug in Kenya, a survey by the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has shown.
The national survey on the “Status of Drugs and Substance Use (DSU) in Kenya, 2022” released in September showed that one in every 8 Kenyans aged 15 – 65 years, a population of about 3,199,119 people, are currently using alcohol.
Of these, the majority are in the Western region as it has the highest prevalence of alcohol use at 23.8 percent followed by the Coast region at 13.9 percent while Central Kenya ranks third at 12.8 percent.
By Florence Kinyua