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Shun miraa chewing, Mandera youth urged

Young men chewing miraa. /FILE
Young men chewing miraa. /FILE

Mandera youths have been asked to shun harmful practices.

Woman representative Fathia Mahbub said miraa (khat) chewing is on the rise in region. She said miraa dealers are making a killing.

Mahbub was speaking in Mandera town on Monday during a youth workshop on drug abuse.

She urged the youths to choose between being drug addicts and pursuing economic activities that will enrich their lives.

Mandera East administrative officer Edwin Kuria said drug abuse is a national problem. He called for concerted efforts to fight the problem.

Kuria said Mandera town is used by peddlers as a conduit to transport drugs to Somalia and Ethiopia.

He said the national government is pushing for the construction of a rehabilitation centre in the region.

“It will be in vain if we prevent our youths from taking drugs without counselling them on the effects,” Kuria said.

He said youths who abuse drugs can easily be lured into joining terror outfits, since they need the money to finance the habit.

At least three vans of miraa from Meru are delivered to Mandera daily. The miraa is distributed to the towns of Bulla Hawo in Somalia and Suftu in Ethiopia.

In June last year, Somalia stopped the entry of Kenya’s miraa planes into its airspace. The country did not explain what informed that decision.

A study by scientists from Moi University, Eldoret, in 2015 found miraa

increases blood pressure, affects men’s sexual performance and could lead to heart attacks.