Youths in Kisauni Sub County held hostage by drug abuse
Yesterday, I paid a visit to Kisauni Sub County in an area called Frere Town. In June 2017 I wrote about Frere town and its history on ending slavery in Mombasa. This is an area with a very rich and diverse history.
This time round I made a new observation which was quite disturbing. The youths in Kisauni Sub County area engaged in the use of harmful drugs such as cocaine. This is why in Swahili they are referred to as ‘maunga” referring to cocaine which looks like white powder.
When I visited Kisauni Sub County area, the youths who were undergoing rehabilitation were congregated near their hospital when I was reliably informed that they receive methadone as part of the rehabilitation process.
In addition to that these youths are given ksh 500 for food since the use of medicine for rehabilitation requires them to eat enough food in order to stay strong.
One resident of Frere Town informed me that the group that is participating in the rehab process is less dangerous compared to the individuals who have not enrolled for rehab.
According to drugs.com, “methadone reduces withdrawal symptom in people addicted to heroine or other narcotic drugs without causing the high associated with narcotics.”
Swahili people say “dawa ya moto ni moto” this sounds so true when it comes to rehab of people addicted through use of narcotics or “maunga”.
Drug abuse policy
I once made a very valid argument about war on drugs in an article titled: War on Drugs, Portugal May be winning the war by decriminalization. This is a very good public policy approach and the Kenyan government should borrow a leaf from the Portuguese approach.
Let’s not treat the victims as criminals but as patients who need medical care and counselling. That way we will win the war and reverse the economic conditions for these youths who are currently devastated.
Policy makers should review their approach based on the above findings. Reached out to Mombasa County Government and advise them on this matter. You can also write to them.