Youths engaged in the fight against drugs and substance abuse in Marsabit County have protested against failure by relevant authorities to enforce the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act.
Okoa youth group which has for the past two years waged a campaign against the vice is reportedly incensed by operators of alcoholic drinks outlets failure to abide by the law.
In letters to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Director of Public Prosecutions, dated November 19, the youth want the relevant agents compelled to enforce the law.
Okoa youth group chairperson Fredrick Ochieng said that their pleas to have retail outlets that operate from morning to wee hours of the night comply with the law have gone unheeded.
He pointed out that the menace of drug and alcohol abuse among the youth in Marsabit County was worrying adding that allowing operators to avail the intoxicating substances at will was worsening the situation.
“This group has volunteered to wage war against the sale and consumption of drugs and alcoholic drinks among the young generations with a lot of success but inaction against certain operators is negating the gains made in the fight” he said.
According to the officials of the group, more than seven bars, wines and spirits outlets that are licensed to do business in Marsabit town were operating with impunity as they were not complying with the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2010.
The situation is the same in other towns across the county including Moyale, Laisamis and Loiyangalani where drunken youths are always noticeable during the day.
“We want the DCI and DPP to intervene so that we can get justice for both the targeted youth and the community at large,” said part of the letter.
A bill initiated by the same youth group and which was aimed at reinforcing the national law, the Marsabit County Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2014, is still pending at the local county assembly.
Marsabit Central deputy county commissioner Joseph Nyakwara warned of stern action against traders found contravening the law.
He also cautioned the youth and any other users of alcoholic drinks that they would be punished according to the law if found drunk or taking alcohol during odd hours.
By Sebastian Miriti