Administration officials in Mandera East Sub County have rolled out a football league to discourage the youth from engaging in drug abuse during their free time.
The officials advised the youth to shun drugs consumption and instead engage in sports and focus in education so that they could be self-reliant.
Speaking during the kickoff of Khalalio Football League, area Chief Mohamed Adan expressed fears that most youths in the area were involved in miraa chewing, bhang smoking and consumption of local brews like changaa.
“We have come together to rescue our children from indulging in drug abuse because some had lost their sense of direction in life and it’s our responsibility as local leaders to help them get back on the right track,” said Mohamed.
According to Mohamed the local administrators partnered with elders and some youth groups to raise funds for the six team league which takes place every month in efforts to ensure the drug addicts are kept busy.
“An idle mind is devil’s workshop. We decided to raise funds to start football league as we believe it will help our youths shun drug abuse and prevent them from joining violent extremist groups like Alshabaab,” added Mohamed.
Mohamed pointed out that the percentage of youth abusing drugs had reduced from 35 to 2 % in the last six months. He encouraged youths to joining TVET institutions to acquire skill to earn a decent livelihoods.
“Our next move is to work with parents to ensure all these youths have join different institutions to be equip with skills that will help them make a living,” he said.
On his part Salah Alio Mandera Municipal Manager asked the youths to focus on their education, avoid violent extremist groups and ensure they served as role models to the future generations. He also warned youths against using social media to propagate hatred.
Alio also urged government, political leaders, football officials and sport philanthropists to support such initiative in promoting a sporting culture in the county.
By Charles Matacho