Police in Central Kenya will intensify the use of drones to help in the fight against drugs and crime, the Regional Commissioner (CC), Wilfred Nyagwanga has said.
The RC said normal patrols have not achieved much, especially in hunting down criminals, drug dealers or crackdown on illicit brews.
Speaking during a raid on Chang’aa brewers along River Chania on Saturday, Nyagwanga said they have contracted the services of NACADA to use drones to help in the exercise.
Targeted areas are along River Chania in both Murang’a and Kiambu Counties to weed out chang’aa brewing and in Juja and Thika’s Kiandutu slums to fight drugs and crime.
“We shall be able to flush out criminals from their hideouts especially in the slums. Those peddling drugs will easily be spotted and arrested,” he said.
He said since the adoption of the drones technology last week, they have managed to clear out nine chang’aa distilling spots along Chania River, and arrested 200 people involved in the illicit brew trade.
He said the surveillance will be extended downstream along Thika River to completely clear out chang’aa in central region.
The Chania River is known for large scale manufacturing of Chang’aa which is consumed in central, parts of Eastern and Nairobi regions.
To access the distilleries, one has to navigate the 30 metres deep cliffs and gorges through risky bushes, to the river banks, a situation that has proved to be a challenge even to police officers.
“In a week’s time, there will be no illicit brews in this region. Anyone in this business has to look for alternatives as we won’t relent,” he said.
About 30 bars that are 300 metres or less from schools were also closed in Gatundu North Sub County in an exercise that the government said will continue.
The NACADA CEO, Victor Okioma said once the drone technology proves successful, they will invest in it to address drug trade in the country.
He said the fight against drugs would help the country produce an energetic citizenry able to propel the government’s big four agenda
“We are using the drone technology along this area as a pilot. Once it proves successful, we shall invest in it and use it in the fight against drugs trade,” he said.
By Muoki Charles