NACADA blames county governments for the increase in liquor outlets.

National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) Chairman Julius Githiri addressing youth and participants in a drug and substance abuse workshop at the Thika High School for The Blind on Wednesday. 
National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has decried the mushrooming of bars and increase of liquor outlets since the inception of devolved system of government.

NACADA Chairman Julius Githiri blamed this to county governments who he blamed for generously issuing trade licences to very many liquor dealers as a form of revenue generation without appreciating that it came with inherent consequences of exposing young people to alcohol and drug abuse.

“We are quite disappointed by the increase in these liquor outlets as some of them have even been situated near schools. We can point a finger to the county governments for they have been doing this licensing without involving the public in decision making,” complained Githiri.  

“Devolution was a good concept but some of the activities that were devolved has been abused by county governments as long as they earn the counties some revenue. The licensing of these bars should be done in accordance with the law. Furthermore, part of the funds collected from licensing such businesses should be channeled to programmes geared towards creating awareness against alcohols and substance abuse,” he explained.

Githiri was speaking at the Thika High School for the Blind on Wednesday during a youth meeting against drug and substance abuse.

He pointed out the importance of public awareness especially during this electioneering period where an increase in alcohol and substance abuse was evident. He accused politicians of misusing the youth by intoxicating them so that they could be used to heckle their opponents or disrupt their campaigns.

He added that the Ministry of Interior, Youth Enterprise Fund, NACADA and NCIC had joined forces with one clear goal of preaching peace across the country under a government initiative dubbed ‘SAUTI 47’.

“We will visit all the 47 counties preaching gospel of peace but it is good to note here that we cannot have a peaceful election if youth indulge into drug and substance abuse. We to inculcate it into their minds that there is life after the August 8 regardless of the outcome of the elections,” he explained.
NACADA CEO Victor Okioma said that they were empowering the youth to be ambassadors of peace during the upcoming campaign and elections period.

He advised them to form groups and apply for the Youth Fund, decrying the low uptake of government loans by the youth. He called for caution and always associate themselves with people of integrity.

“Some politicians want to intoxicate you so that they can use you as instruments of violence. We are appealing to you to be instruments of peace and transform the society. Alcohol and drug abuse derails your dreams. Therefore, be very careful of the kind of characters you associate yourselves with and avoid negative influence,” Okioma said.

He revealed that NACADA have more than 144 accredited facilities which serve to rehabilitate and recover drug addicts countrywide adding that they provided funding to groups that join hands to create awareness against drugs and substance abuse in the society.
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