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Youth urged to shun drugs and substance abuse

The nation is facing a bleak future as more youths are engaging in drug and substance abuse resulting in high numbers of teen pregnancies, suicidal activities and school dropouts.

In Bungoma County, the issue of teenage pregnancies has been the talk of town among lobby groups, human rights activists, church leaders and youth organizations, and both levels of government.

A nongovernmental organization, Y-act, operating in Bungoma County has now taken the bull by the horns and formed 12 youth lead groups to agitate against teenage pregnancies, sexual abuse and gender based violence.

Addressing journalists after holding a one-day workshop, Clyde Libamila, the Programme’s Manager said “Bungoma has been in the media for a very long time due to high numbers of gender-based violence cases especially in Mt. Elgon yet the cases keep rising.  Our aim as an organization is to see that these cases drop drastically,” he said.

He appealed to all stakeholders to work hand in hand with the Y-Act initiative to ensure that teenage pregnancies and drug abuse is dealt with.

As part of their advocacy strategy, the initiative receives funding from AMREF to facilitate their day to day activities on sensitizing youths and teenagers on the consequences of early pregnancy and drug abuse.

“The funding from AMREF facilitates us to move across the county to sensitize youths. We have organized seminars with youths in most areas of the county especially during this short holiday to educate them on their sexual health and importance of abstinence,” he said.

Rahma Issa, a Y-act member and a health advocate challenged the government to make sure that perpetrators are arrested and face full force of law.

“If we continue playing with perpetrators who impregnate our school going girls, then the country faces a shortage of professionals in future as many of our girls’ lives have been ruined,” she said, adding that early pregnancies slow down girls’ development.

By Godfrey Wanjala

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