By: ANDREW KASUKU
MOMBASA Senator Hassan Omar has said the government must put in place stringent measures, including forming an anti-drug abuse task force, to tackle the menace among the youth.
Speaking during the Fatima’s Voice drugs forum in Mombasa on Saturday, he said there should be a holistic approach towards tackling the problem, especially in the Coast.
“We can’t pretend to use political rhetoric all the time. We want a government that is committed to fighting drug abuse,” Omar said.
During the opening of Mombasa ASK show in August, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed security agencies to crack down on drug dens.
Omar said a multi-agency task force of police, immigration officers, military and the National Intelligence Service should be put in place to combat drug trafficking and use.
He said youths using hardcore drugs in Mombasa have made lives for most citizens miserable.
Omar said they terrorise residents in Old Town, Majengo, Kisauni and other informal settlements.
“The state cannot purport to fight drug abuse by simply arresting the users. It should deal with the entire chain of drug traffickers from shipment to police and corruption at the port,” he said.
Omar urged the government to declare the problem a national disaster and allocate more resources to solve it.
Fatima’s Voice programme coordinator Eric Otieno said the art forum, which began in 2013, enables the youth to open up on societal issues.
“Our society is misinformed about so many things going on around them. We need to talk, create relationships and come up with solutions,” he said.
Artists presented poems and songs addressing drug abuse among the youth.
The forum was attended by youth and the elderly.