The increase of youths engaging in drugs and alcohol consumption in Busia and the Western region at large is alarming, a move the stakeholders say if it is not addressed on time it may cost the future generation.
According to them, the increase in drug uptake in youths is leading to a high number of learners dropping out of school and early pregnancies among girls.
The National Chairperson Tobacco Association in Kenya Mr. Joel Gitali says the majority of youths in drugs do not complete their schools not only affecting their lives but also the future generation.
“There is a lot of drug trafficking that goes on among the youths in Busia County being that we are along the border. Our youths have been affected so badly and these youths require stakeholders to intervene.
He added, “Most of these learners come from vulnerable families and they lack someone to direct and guide them on matters of drugs and teenage pregnancies, one of the reasons we are greatly affected, especially in consumption of ‘bhang’ and alcohol.”
Addressing the students of Bunjwanga Secondary School in Funyula Constituency during the guiding and counseling session on the dangers of drugs and early pregnancies among the students Mr Gitali blamed politicians for being behind the problem by buying youths drugs to carry out their ill activities in the community such as causing demonstrations and riots.
“We appeal to politicians not to buy youths drugs to cause chaos favoring them. When youths are under the influence of drugs they will carry out certain activities without their knowledge,” said Mr Gitali
He challenged the government and other stakeholders to invest in the fight against drug usage among the youth.
“We also need to see the government setting aside Funds to address drug consumption among youths, especially in areas such as Busia where it is evident that the problem is rampant among the school-going children,” he noted
According to Ms Ann Truphosa a community health officer at Nasirumbi Education Fund, a non-governmental organization that does mentorship programs and sponsors vulnerable learners by paying their school fees within Funyula Constituency.
However, drug peddlers find it easy to access youths from Uganda through the porous routes along the Kenya-Uganda border, blaming the poverty level in the area as contributing factor for the increase in drug uptake and early pregnancies in the region.
“After doing research we realized that learners from poor backgrounds drop out of schools due to early pregnancies in girls and the use of drugs among boys.
It is the reason we came in to see to it that they go back to school especially girls who wish to resume learning after conceiving. Some of them are from child-headed families and they lack someone to take them through the road of life.” She noted
She said, “Immorality in this place is rampant. Parenting is a big problem. You will find a young boy crossing the lake to Uganda then comes back with drugs and there is nobody to question him.”
However, the guiding and counseling teacher at Bujwanga Secondary School Ms Lynn Sakwa noted that through guiding and counseling sessions the school is trying to educate the students on the dangers of drugs and early pregnancies.
According to her, Bujwanga being along the shore of Lake Victoria, a few meters away from Uganda, accesses drugs easily.
“A student who is addicted to drugs will not settle in class. They will always be out there looking for something to keep him or her going.
That is why as a school through guiding and counseling session we try to teach and create awareness among them on the dangers of drugs and early pregnancies,” she said