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The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) will collaborate with the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) in a campaign aimed at promoting a society free from alcohol and drug abuse in the wake of guidelines on sale of alcohol announced by the government. Speaking during a ceremony to unveil the cooperation, NACADA Chief Executive Officer Victor Okioma pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic had presented the Authority with a challenging environment within which to enforce its mandate.

“This agreement could not have come at a better time given that the novel Coronavirus pandemic has curtailed our movements and stakeholder engagement activities. We are however leveraging on the networks by KARA to ensure that we create avenues through which information will be shared amongst ourselves for the mutual benefit of both the organizations and the public.

In this connection, our partnership will among others;
1. Sensitize residence associations to implement awareness/prevention programmes on ADA.
2. Engage the residence associations to identify and report on bars operating in residential areas.
3. Continue supporting the Mihadarati Awards for residence associations that excel in ADA prevention campaigns.

We have supported this trophy for the last two years.

For a start, we want to reach out to our stakeholders by anchoring on KARA structures especially given the ban on sale of alcohol in eateries and other public places,” said Okioma.

Acknowledging that there is need to ensure that residential areas are not turned into places for drinking and partying following the recent Government regulations, KARA Chief Executive Officer Henry Ochieng reiterated the need for mutual partnership as a means of fostering positive societal impact.

“We are keen to join hands with NACADA to ensure that the guidelines are complied with and also support Resident Associations to be able to monitor and take appropriate action against individuals who may flout the guidelines in their neighborhoods. We would also like to ensure that the residents understand their roles and responsibilities in the whole legal framework of drugs and alcohol control and are able to proactively prevent mushrooming of bars and liquor stores in residential areas,” said Ochieng.

So as to address alcohol and drug use and its complications, NACADA organizes sensitizations and structured trainings targeting families, workplaces, schools and communities. These sensitizations aim to create awareness on how to prevent alcohol and drug use at home, school, workplace and the community. However, these efforts have suffered a setback due to social distancing requirements which form part of the government’s preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19.

The two organizations have previously partnered on an ad-hoc basis in areas of mutual interest among them being the Annual Resident Associations Excellence Awards in December last year where NACADA sponsored the Mihadarati Award category.