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NACADA, communities unite to eradicate alcohol, drug abuse

The Government, through the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), and other agencies and social partners, has launched a sensitization forum to educate local communities in Uasin Gishu on the effects of alcohol and drug abuse.

Addressing the public during the Community Outreach on the National Substance Use Prevention Week, themed Our families, schools, workplaces, communities for a sustainable future for humanity’at St. Jude Catholic Church, Huruma, Eldoret, NACADA Director, Elijah Lagat, called on society and all the stakeholders to come together to salvage the future generation from perishing through alcohol and substance abuse.

He called for concerted efforts from the stakeholders to support the Presidential Directive, to combat the menace, which he said has serious impacts on people’s lives, especially the youth, who are the future generation of the country.

“Let us all take the responsibility. Right now, our future generation is perishing, let us save them by eradicating illicit alcohol from our areas,” he said.

He said that according to the NACADA Report, out of 10 addicts, eight are boys and two are girls, which indicates that the boy child, is the most affected by alcohol and drug abuse.

Lang’a added that the countrywide menace has affected enrolment in schools, which has reduced significantly in most areas where alcohol is mostly available, leading to more cases of school drop-outs due to addiction.

“This tells us we should all take responsibility to salvage our future generation from going down the drain; all this we are doing is because we care about our children’s lives because they are our future,” added Lagat.

The Director further underscored the effects of alcohol and drugs on overall health, including lifestyle chronic diseases of the liver, kidney, and brain, among others.

He called for concerted efforts from the National Government Administrative Officers (NGAOs), civil servants, security officers, village elders, and members of the general public, to take charge and come up with a lasting solution.

Lagat warned drug dealers who sell harmful substances to other people’s children in order to make money, through illegal means while ruining their lives.

“We must make sure our children are saved. What does it help you as a drug dealer to make money by selling drugs to your neighbours’ children, and it turns out that your children later become the end users?

He commended the significant steps made by Uasin Gishu County in terms of fighting illicit brew and drug abuse, urging them to continue with the same spirit to ensure the community is free from alcohol and illicit substances.

“I have seen what you have done. We need to pass the message everywhere. Let us all take part in this initiative. Do not just be there seeing one’s child and ignore him because he is not yours. Make haste to help because you never know about tomorrow; it may be yours. Let us help others, because that is how we are blessed as a caring society,” alluded the director.

Uasin Gishu County Commissioner, Dr. Eddyson Nyale, appreciated the joint effort across the country in the fight against illicit brew. He noted that to win the war against illicit brew, the Government realised that it required to work together with the citizens.

“The whole society approach is the approach used by the government in the fight against illicit brews. It is a collaboration with the national and county governments and citizens at large to ensure the war against illicit brew is successful,” he said.

He clarified that the government initially opted for a whole-government approach where the National and county governments worked together to fight illicit brews; however, the approach was unsuccessful. The government thereby opted for the whole society approach, where both the government, stakeholders, and citizens were involved in curbing illicit alcohol in the country.

He added that the whole society approach resulted in the establishment of a County Action Plan with strategies and plans, whose mandate is to control Alcohol and Drug abuse.

He affirmed the government’s plans to support the village leaders through financial incentives to ensure no alcohol is brewed in their villages. He cautioned that this move will only benefit those elders who have significantly ensured that alcohol and drug abuse are not being practiced in their respective sublocations.

Dr. Nyale further encouraged the reformed women in their bid to advocate for an end to illicit brews as well as bringing more women on board.

He assured them of the government’s financial support to enable them to undertake alternative means of livelihood, like starting businesses, as a way to ensure they do not go back to alcohol brewing.

Uasin Gishu County DirectorAlcoholic Drinks Control BoardKoiya Arap Maiyo, said the county is committed to working closely with all the government agencies and partners to ensure the illicit alcohol is finished.

He revealed that they are working on an illicit alcohol crackdown on a 24-hour basis in conjunction with NACADA, NGAOs, and village elders to ensure no outlet is operating without a licence, and if any is found, it is shut down and operators are arrested and prosecuted.

“We have our enforcement team, and the police have also given us officers to support us in the operation to prevent the manufacture and sale of illicit alcohol,” said the County Director.

By Ekuwam Sylvester and Angela Silayo

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