Nacada to help counties fight drug abuse


Uasin Gishu County; Kenya:  At least 12 governors from Rift Valley have enlisted the support of the National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) in policy formulation and capacity building.

This, they said, would boost their efforts towards implementing programmes aimed at fighting drug and alcohol abuse as well as providing public awareness in the region.

Led by Uasin Gishu County boss Jackson Mandago, the governors reiterated their commitment towards supporting the passage of the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill 2012 that is still pending in Parliament. “It is our conviction that this will streamline the enforcement of the alcohol laws such as licensing and operating hours, as well as assist in implementing programmes to tackle alcohol abuse,” he said.

He expressed concern that a significant percentage of traders in alcoholic drinks were operating their businesses illegally and with impunity in the region.

The governor was speaking during a three-day workshop sponsored by Nacada for county and national government officials drawn from Rift Valley on model county alcohol drinks control Act.

Mandago stated that in the last licensing period, over 7,000 applications were received from the region and out of this more than 5,000 were approved to operate the establishments.

Rejected applications

The governor however regretted that some 1,000 traders whose applications were rejected by the District Liquor and Licensing committee were operating illegally.

Mr Frankline Mwirichi, the head of monitoring, evaluation and research disclosed that the agency has set aside sufficient funds towards the fight against alcohol and abuse related substances.

He disclosed that Nacada had disbursed funds to 50 civil society groups from Western and Rift Valley regions who have been identified to assist authority.

He pointed out that personnel in the respective counties would be equipped with the necessary skills to assist in combating the vice.

“We are optimistic that the agency is willing to support us in carrying out research and disseminating of findings and establishment of treatment and rehabilitation centres,” said Elgeyo/Marakwet governor Alex Tolgos. Tolgos said alcohol and drug abuse among the youth could spin out control and expressed the need to put more effort into addressing the matter.