A woman in Murang’a County has started a drive to rehabilitate alcohol and drug addicts.
Julia Nyokabi Chege has come up with an idea where youths form social groups that help each other when facing addictions.
Alcoholism especially among men has become a big challenge.
Ms Chege’s efforts took root when a research in Murang’a found out that in the villages, few young men were married.
A majority have shied away from matrimonial duties citing financial challenges.
The groups have developed programmes where youths are entrusted with public land and venture into farming.
They grow potatoes, arrow-roots and keep poultry. The venture, according to Chege, keeps them busy and away from drugs and alcohol. It also gives them an income.
At Kenya Njeru village, Ibrahim Wamenjo chairs the Kiganjo Mwihoti self-help group which has 56 members.
According to Mr Wamenjo, none of the members are married.
Talks of a merger between Kangema and Mathioya constituencies have been floated around, since none of the individual constituencies meets the constitutional threshold in terms of population.
“The income activities can now help some of the members in the different groups raise dowries and get married,” said Wamenjo.
One of the group members, Elizabeth Njinjo, said many of the nursery schools were under threat of shutting down since there was little enrollment of children.
“With so many youth in the village it would be a shame if any of the nursery schools in Murang’a would be closed due to lack of pupils,” said Ms Njinjo.
“Parents must guide their children away from alcoholism and drugs.”
Chege said that in another group at Gitugu market, none of the 96 members is married. Another group called Wagituma which is in Iyego location as 200 members and only 20 are married.
Chege added that local leaders should come together and assist the youth as they struggle to kick out addictions and gain incomes for themselves.
“Through support from leaders, soccer tournaments and other sporting activities can be organised to keep the youth busy,” said Chege.