Religious leaders from Gathanji ward, OlJoro-Orok Constituency in Nyandarua County have decried increased cases of drug abuse among youths in the area.
The Clergy, led by Reverend Joseph Mwikia of Kenya Assemblies of God (KAG) and his counterpart Reverend Samuel Kariuki Wamucii of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), have noted the number of Miraa shops were on the rise in the area adding that they have become a selling point for other drugs.
Speaking at Mung’etho shopping centre, the clergymen said that among the affected areas, include Mung’etho, Boiman, Kahuruko and Ihiga-ini shopping centers.
“The number of miraa selling points has increased drastically in these small shopping centers in our Constituency. These shops are not only selling miraa but are also acting as selling points for other illegal drugs among them bhang, tobacco and kubel,” lamented Reverend Kariuki.
He said that the vice has rendered youths in the area less productive and this has resulted to increase in criminal activities.
“The only thing that our youth are thinking of is miraa and other drugs; you will find them in these dens from as early as 7am. This has rendered them less productive hence leading to increase in criminal activities,” he added.
They urged the county government of Nyandarua to reduce the numbers of bars and miraa shops by regulating the laws on licensing them in order to curb cases of drug abuse among the youths.
“Our youths have been turned into ‘zombies’ as a result of drug abuse. We are calling on the county government to regulate the laws on bars and khat shops licensing and come up with a way of reducing them,” said Reverend Mwikia.
“We are also calling on the government to enhance guidance and counseling in both primary and secondary schools in order to sensitize teenagers and students on the effects of drug abuse,” noted Mwikia.
This comes as residents and leaders put chiefs and their assistance on the spotlight for failing to curb the re-emergence of the second generation alcohol, illicit brews and proliferation drugs such as bhang in their respective areas.
Early last month, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Eng. Karanja Kibicho warned the administrators that they risked losing their jobs if they failed to stop the practice that had reduced the youths into non-productive citizens.
“Don’t think we have forgotten about the fight against illicit brews and substance abuse. We are aware that the two vices have once again found ground and we are determined to ensure that they are wiped out once and for all. “We are putting chiefs and their assistants on notice that if we find out brewers are still operating in their areas of jurisdiction, they will definitely go home,” he warned while speaking at Wanjohi, Kipipiri in Nyandarua County.
By David Njoroge/Cecilia Chege