- The situation – they claimed – has fueled cases of mental health challenges, suicides and school dropouts.
- Githunguri MP Gathoni Wamuchomba put blame on the police, county administrators and village elders she accused of laxity.
Lawmakers have decried influx of alcohol and drugs in the country ahead of the festive season.
The lawmakers – mostly women MPs – blamed the deliberate influx of drugs and alcohol on the soaring crimes, sex assault and domestic violence.
The women legislators operating under the Drugs and Alcoholism Caucus in Parliament regretted that the illegal liquor is so easily accessible to minors.
Githunguri MP Gathoni Wamuchomba put blame on the police, county administrators and village elders she accused of laxity.
“It has become very easy to get illicit alcohol and drugs. Even our underage children access them without any difficulty,” she said.
Speaking at a press conference at Parliament Buildings, Wamuchoma said legislators planned to amend health laws to have drug and alcohol addiction categorised as a disease.
“Addiction has not been recognised as a disease and this has made interventions difficult. NHIF does not cover matters related to addiction,” she explained.
Woman Representatives Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga), Esther Passaris (Nairobi) and nominated MP Dorothy Muthoni, Phyllis Bartoo (Moiben) and Jane Kihara (Naivasha) accompanied Wamuchomba.
The lawmakers issued the statement after holding a consultative forum to deliberate on the influx of drugs and illicit alcohol in the country.
The Githunguri MP further lamented that the police have not been properly trained to deal with cases of addition.
“When you arrest an addict and throw him into the cell, isn’t that disastrous? You are killing them because this is a sick person you are throwing into the cell,” she said.
Adagala said the police have a key role in eliminating the menace of illicit liquor.
“We should not leave everything to the police. Parents, chiefs and elders also have very important roles to play in fighting the problem,” she added.
Kihara cautioned Kenyans against over-indulging as they celebrate Christmas and New Year.
Passaris said they have agreed to create awareness and advocate for the implementation of existing legislation and where necessary push for the creation of regulations in order to safeguard the lives of the youth.
“We wish to declare our commitment to this cause and extend and invitation to our colleague legislators who are not part of this caucus to join us,” she said.
Passaris challenged various agencies mandated to fight drug, substance and alcohol abuse to heighten their action and work with the caucus towards tightening legislative interventions.
The MPs also called on Kenyans to support efforts of caregivers entrusted with the responsibility of assisting victims.