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Nacada boss John Mututho raises alarm over use of shisha in colleges

By ANTONY GITONGA | March 13th 2015

Kenya: The National authority for the campaign against alcohol and drug abuse (NACADA) has raised a red flag over a sharp increase in the number of minors using shisha across the country.

The authority said that recent research had indicated that shisha could cause cancer, throat and chest complications among its users.

While issuing the alert, Nacada chairman John Mututho said that the vice was now rife among college and university students.

Mututho issued a warning to any bar or hotel serving the students with the banned flavours that they faced arrest and prosecution.

"We are deeply concerned by the increase in the usage of shisha mainly the banned flavours among students in the country," he said.

At the same time, the authority has embarked on recruiting enforcement officers in the counties with Mututho saying that the officers would be trained to make sure there was total compliance.

The former Naivasha MP praised Bomet County for its commitment in fighting illegal brewing and consumption of illicit alcohol.

"Bomet County has already recruited 300 enforcement officers mainly from NYS and this is a move in the right direction," he said.

Mututho at the same time said that they were seeking to re-open cases of tens of people who died or lost their eyesight since 1994 after taking alcohol.

He noted that under article 46 of the constitution, anyone selling harmful products to members of the public would be compelled to compensate those affected.

"We are working with the DPP office so that cases of alcohol deaths dating back to 1994 be re-opened and the affected families compensated," he said.

Addressing the press in Naivasha, Mututho said they would partner with police in fighting illegal brewers and drug sellers.

He said that the booklet was ready noting that it had key information on various clauses dealing with alcohol and drug abuse.

"We have partnered with police in the fight against drugs and illicit brews and the booklet has all the information pertaining to the enforcement of the Alcoholic control act," he said.

He said that under the partnership, the officers would help close bars near residential estates and around schools.

The chairman at the same time issued a warning to those reusing spirits bottles to package liquor and also those packing their brews in less than 250ml containers.

Mututho praised ongoing fight by NTSA against drunk drivers and promised that the authority would donate 53 kits to fight drug and alcohol abuse among drivers.

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