Leaders in Nairobi’s Mathare Constituency have called on the city county government to rehabilitate youths addicted to hard drugs in the area.
Led by Deputy County Commissioner Patrick Mwangi, the leaders said that many young people in the area are addicted to hard drugs including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and Mandrax, adding that if the situation is not addressed quickly, many youths risk losing their lives.
“Most young people in this area are drug addicts and something needs to be done quickly before the situation deteriorates further,” said Mr Mwangi.
He was speaking Thursday during a sensitisation workshop organised by Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Board.
The deputy county commissioner said that in the meantime, plans are underway to form community policing groups to control alcohol consumption and drug abuse in Mathare.
He lauded the demolition of illegal structures that were being used as drug dens in the densely populated Nigeria Ndogo in the constituency, saying the operation in good time as the area was one of the most affected by the drugs menace.
“Nigeria Ndogo has fallen. It used to be the biggest place to buy hard drugs in this area and the demolition is a welcome move,” he said.
Nigeria Ndogo is an open field near St Teresa along Juja Road and behind the Al Badr filling station in the sprawling Mathare slums.
Previously, it was a no-go area for the police.
Mr Mwangi’s sentiments were echoed by Kenya Assemblies of God (KAG) Pastor Daniel Ng'ang'a who decried the drug abuse menace in the area.
He said that at KAG and Ndururuno Primary Schools young pupils some even in Class Six openly smoke bhan,g leaving teachers in a dilemma.
While responding to the concerns raised, Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Board Chairman Kennedy Odhiambo assured the leaders that the issue is being addressed, adding that together with anti-drugs agency, Nacada, they plan to roll out a training programme for the youth on alcohol and drugs abuse and rehabilitation.
He said that the training will also equip the youth with vital knowledge on HIV/Aids and prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, adding that the training is in line with Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko's efforts to promote good governance in community-based development projects.
“Our main aim is to be the best coalition of youth groups, empowering the youth and promoting the practice of good governance on community development projects,” said Mr Odhiambo.
On his part, Nacada Programmes Officer Jacob Aduda said that the authority is carrying out a pilot project in 50 schools countrywide with 10 being in Nairobi before drafting the drug control policy for schools.
Other drug dens in Nairobi are mostly found in Bahati Estate, Kawangware, Mukuru Kwa Reuben, along Taveta Road within the central business district, and entertainment spots within Westlands, Kayole, Kibera and Outer Ring Road.