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Unemployment drive youths into drugs

28 June 2013, 15:15

­­­­­­­­­­­Malindi MP Dan Kazungu on Thursday attributed the increased cases of drug trafficking and abuse among the youth in Kilifi County to unemployment and frustration among the young people.

Idleness among the youth mainly brought about by lack of employment openings, Kazungu said, has influenced many young people to indulge into the vice of trafficking and abuse of drugs.

Kazungu praised the government for declaring war on drug traffickers but urged the authorities to crackdown on foreigners suspected to be involved in trafficking of narcotics in private villas and cottages.

“Foreigners are mainly to blame for the increase in the availability of narcotics in Malindi and Kilifi County in general and unless they are dealt with firmly, they will continue to destroy our young people and make them useless zombies,” said Kazungu.

In an interview with the Press at the Sai Eden Roc Hotel  in Malindi, the MP challenged the youth to avoid bad company or patronizing areas known to host drug traffickers and peddlers.

The MP said it was unfortunate that Malindi had gained the negative repute of being the centre of narcotic drugs yet in the past it was known as a tourist destination of great international repute.

Kazungu however said that all was not lost because the government had launched programs to fund income generating project for the youth through the Youth Fund, Constituency Development Fund and other financial outlets.

The Malindi CDF, he said, would also set aside some funds to improve campaigns against trafficking and abuse of drugs noting that drugs always left serious scars on families and the social status of any given area.

He also noted that Malindi leaders would work closely with the investors in tourism sector to provide employment opportunities to the youth.

“Hoteliers can help the youth by offering them employment and also allowing them to supply them with some of the requirements. This way the young people can earn incomes to dissuade them from being idle and falling into abuse and trafficking of narcotics,” said Kazungu.

Drugs abuse among the youth, Kazungu admitted, was not easy given that at times those falling into the vice did so due to peer pressure and ease at which such drugs could be accessed.

He said the youth needed to avoid drugs and choose better ways to let out their steam and frustration by participating in sports and other social activities such as youth environmental cleanup programs.

According to the chairman of the Omar Project Rehabilitation Centre Hamid Mudaris, Malindi has more than 3 000 addicts most of whom are in need of rehabilitation but are wasting away unattended due to lack of government funded rehabilitation facilities.

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