County governments' leadership should use part of revenues collected from alcohol licensing to strengthen alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation services in their counties. National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse chairman Victor Okioma has said most counties were not keen on rehabilitating men and women who have been ruined by excess use of alcohol and drugs. NACADA boss observed that the County Governments revenue collection department had enhanced most efficient ways of increasing alcohol licensing income in total disregard of the type of liquor consumed and its associated negative effects. 'We are asking counties to use alcohol licencing fees to rescue lives of alcohol and drug addicts in their counties,' Okiama told a meeting which brought together National and County Government officials at Nandi County administration headquarters. Okioma proposed a committee tasked to oversee the level of alcohol and drugs addiction at counties level which comprises representatives from both National and County Governments including other relevant non state actors. According to him, the committee among other things will be instrumental in suggesting ways on how to help alcohol and drug addicts so that they can be restored back to their normal lives. The CEO tasked Nandi County enforcement officers led by the County Commissioner Caroline Mueni present in the meeting to ensure no illegal liquor making industries exist in the county. He revealed that such illegal liquor making points use harmful chemicals mixed with ethanol to ruin lives of many innocent consumers. Commissioner Mueni on her part welcomed the idea and said she had engaged County Commissioners of Kisumu, Vihiga, Uasin Gishu and Kakamega Counties to help identify and crackdown on illegal liquor making industries. Mueni noted an intelligence report indicated that some outlawed liquor was being sneaked from other neighbouring counties which has prompted her to work with other neighbouring counties chiefs. 'I have already contacted all County Commissioners neighbouring Nandi and agreed to work closely to eliminate the menace of illegal alcohol and drug syndicates within our borders,' commissioner Mueni affirmed. Jonah Bwambok, Nandi County Government Director Liquors Consumption, told the meeting that out of close to Sh 12 million revenue expected to be collected from alcohol bars licensing, a portion will be used to strengthen alcohol and drug addiction services including operationalization of proposed Kabirirsang alcohol, drugs rehabilitation centre. Bwambok revealed that they had approved around 300 bars for licensing out of over 700 applicants in a move he said aimed at moderating drinking habits and controlling consumption of illegal killer alcohol in the county. NACADA Board member, Ex-MP Elijah Lagat who accompanied the CEO revealed that the use of drugs among the athletes was ruining their health and careers if not checked. The Former Konion MP and winner of Boston Marathon in 2000 delved that about 20 athletes in Kenya have their careers ruined for testing drug enhancers' positive in most recent times. Lagat revealed that many athletes are suffering several health challenges including broken families as result of using drugs to enhance their speed. The NACADA CEO and his team had visited Nandi County to assess the completion and operationalisation of Kabirirsang Proposed Alcohol and Drug Addicts Rehabilitation centre within Nandi Central Sub-County.
Source: Kenya News Agency