The increasing consumption of the baleful drugs in the Republic of Kenya has been discerned. Its use has been predominant in the non-medical and deleterious field. Statistically, UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes) has imparted the fact that the deliberate intake of opium and cannabis in Kenya has been prevalent among the citizens of age groups 15-64 years. It has crippled the life and the lifelines of Kenya with 80% of the population being a drug and alcohol addict. Drugs have had their effects even on employment, security, crime rate etc. The reduced life expectancy also in Kenya is due to this apparent reason. It has also hindered the development of the country. Many factors have contributed to the commencement of this present situation; peer pressure, social media influence, lack of awareness etc. But the root cause of all this is drug trafficking. Drugs have been a part of the culture since ancient times. If Kenya is to be restored, then a new overhauled plan that considers the current situation of the menace of narcotics and primarily, longs to see Kenya as a developed nation is indispensable.
The Republic of Kenya believes in an organized solution to this problem. Its citizens have always been of its primary concern. Consequently it has executed several implementations in order to keep the drug abuse under control. It has supported the UNODC resolution 72/197 and 71/210. The President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the police to immediately arrest the suspected foreigners engaged in drug trafficking. Influenced and motivated by him, Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero proposed the shutting down of all the caves/concealments of illicit drugs in the country. For akin issues, the NACADA (National Campaign Against Drug Abuse) was initiated. According to a 1997 court proceeding, the District Officer who was involved in drug trafficking, was arrested and sentenced. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act, 1994, was introduced to control the possession of or trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and cultivation of certain plants. NDO (National Drug Observatory) was established in 2014 with technical support from regional UNODC.
To bring stability in the striving nation, Kenya draws its experience of the recent years of ruination caused due to the extensive menace of narcotics and proposes the following:
• The largest ever haul of cocaine weighing 1.5 metric tonnes and worth Sh6.4 billion arrived at Kilindini Harbor from Venezuela in December 2004. This report clearly puts light on the fact that Kenya is not the producer of drugs, neither is it the destination. It has indeed become a ‘transit zone’ for the supply of drugs, forsooth. It predominantly includes the import of drugs from Pakistan to the West. Drugs like heroin, cocaine and cannabis are smuggles to Kenya on the way to Europe. Thus, it would be best if countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan are banned from importing drugs of any kind to Europe. Drugs for medical purposes can be put to consideration.
• Corruption seems to be a major part of the Kenya drug problem. In one recent case where 20 tonnes of hashish were seized, the suspects were released for lack of evidence. It was later revealed that the case had been interfered with by the Mafia and riddled by police cover-up. In another case, it was revealed that 600 acres of the Mount Kenya forest reserve had been cleared for a bhang (cannabis) plantation. Though the plantations were guarded by the forest rangers and administration police, it didn’t prove to be that effective. This has created a need for some loyal and true-hearted policemen in the country. Chiefly though, corruption in Kenya has to be reduced first.
• Substance abuse costs the nation over $600 billion annually. Thus, treatment can help reduce these costs. Moreover, every dollar invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. Kenya has provided its patients a variety of rehabilitation centres, but their efficiency is always put to doubt. Many cases have been reported where the patients were either admitted involuntarily or by coercion to these rehabs, which led to relapse. Therefore, there have to be better awareness programmes in provision to the citizens.
• Countries of Europe and North America are the leading exporters of cocaine and cannabis in the world. European countries account for the highest dollar value worth of $251.9 billion or 79% of the global total. In second place are North American exporters at 9.8% while 9.4% of worldwide drugs and medicine shipments originate from Asia. All the trade routes (land or sea) must be blocked.
The youth is the future of the nation. Reduced intake of drugs would result in the minimal accidents and crimes which would beneficially affect Kenya with more international affairs. Hopefully, these drug affiliated programmes will open up the minds of the youth and Kenya will be accredited with being a drug-free nation.