Nyanza Region Stakeholders Forum
In the war against alcohol, drug and substance abuse, the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) works in collaboration with local, regional and international stakeholders to address the scourge. The Authority’s overarching mandate is to coordinate a multi-sectoral response to the challenges, effects and impacts of alcohol, drug and substance abuse in the country.
On June 25th 2019, NACADA Board of Directors led by the Chairman, Lt. Col (Rtd) Julius Githiri held a Stakeholders Forum with Nyanza Region partners and collaborators as a way of reviewing the gains made thus far, current challenges faced so as to chart a collective way forward. Organized by the Nyanza Regional Office, over 20 stakeholders drawn from the counties, community based organizations, faith-based organizations, self-help groups and non-governmental organizations attended the forum.
During the deliberations, West Pokot county representative Mr. Moses Khaemba cited alcohol abuse as their main challenge. Though the county has not reported use of hard drugs, sniffing of tobacco and normal alcohol are favourite pastimes for peoples in the county.
He decried the problem of alcohol sachets easily brought from Uganda due to the porous border between Kenya and Uganda. In his presentation to NACADA Board, he said that West Pokot is also known as the land of hidden treasures where it is not uncommon to find one family having relatives in Kenya and Uganda. This makes movement of people and goods unregulated and frequent.
The sachets which have extremely high alcohol content go for as low as Ksh20/- has been a perennial problem in the region all the way to Eldoret in Uasin Gishu county. The forum was informed that a common practice in bars in the region is the use of alcohol sachets diluted and sold in tots to unsuspecting customers. These unscrupulous bar owners are making a killing from this trade.
From Busia, county representative Mr. Patrick Lumumba said that the county is in the process of setting up a rehabilitation facility and has been engaged in liquor licensing, public education and awareness, rehab outreaches, research as well as inspection of alcohol-selling outlets. He lauded the County Inter-Agency Committee which was instrumental in a marked drop in sachets in the county especially during the 100-Day Rapid Results Initiative last year.
The Inter-Agency Committee is made up of representatives from key government institutions whose mandate deals with enforcement of alcoholic drinks manufacture, sale and distribution such as NACADA, KEBS, KRA, National Police Service, Ministry of Interior and the Directorate DCI, NIS, Government Chemist, Council of Governors, Attorney General, Public Health and State Department for Interior.
Mr. Lumumba decried the influx of cheap beer from Uganda which makes people take more beers with eventual risk of alcohol addiction. There have also been rampant cases of tax evasion of the beer from Uganda, drugging in bars and turning of homes into beer-selling areas/ wines and spirits shops.
Other stakeholders from Nyanza Regional block present at the forum were Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government- Kisumu Region; County Government of Kisumu Alcoholic Drinks and Liquor Licensing Committee; TINADA – HOB; Juvenile Home; KASH; Dove Rehabilitation; NRHS – Anza Mapema; FOHTC; K.U.A.P; Blue Cross Kisumu; Maseno University; Jamii Ya Tumaini; Kenya Red Cross Society; Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO); Obunga Y/C; Giselle Foundation and
Liverpool Voluntary Counseling and Testing (LVCT) Kisumu Chapter.