The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) Saturday engaged youth leaders drawn from all the six Sub-Counties in Kericho County in a bid to promote peace and social cohesion ahead of the August general election.
Speaking during an event at Nishkam Saint Puran Singh Institute in Kericho town, the NACADA Chief Executive Officer, Victor Okioma, underscored the need for concerted effort in the fight against substance use and drug abuse as one of the triggers of instability during the electioneering period.
Okioma pointed out that research world over shows that alcohol and drugs are outright aggravating factors for conflict and disorder hence curtailing the principle of cohesion and social integration and prevailed upon the youth to uphold peace.
“As the country prepares for election it is important for those of us involved in advocacy to focus our energies on addressing the issues threatening peace before, during and after the polls. It is for this reason that we are formally engaging with the youth leaders of this county with the objective of sensitizing them to be ambassadors of peace,” said Okioma.
The NACADA CEO further stressed that all their activities are hinged on the promotion of national unity, equity and the elimination of all forms of ethnic discrimination by facilitating equality of opportunities, peaceful resolution of conflicts and respect for diversity among Kenyan communities.
“Drugs and other substances of abuse have continually been flagged as some of the reasons why youth engage in conflict which eventually undermines harmony and social cohesion,” added Okioma.
Okioma also warned that the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act No. 4 of 1994 that provides the framework for combating abuse of narcotics, drugs and psychotropic substances in Kenya is still vibrant and anybody who engages in offences around the narcotics consumption will face the law.
The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) is a Semi-Autonomous State Corporation under the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government established to undertake public education and awareness campaigns against drug abuse, especially among youth in schools and other institutions of higher learning.
By Kibe Mburu