The Star (Nairobi)

27 August 2012

Kenya: Canadian Donors to Build Drug Rehab in Mombasa

Donors from Canada have announced plans to set up a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts in Mombasa.

The Kenya National Inter Religious Network and African Council for Gifted and Talented will set up the centre on a piece of land at the Mamba Village Centre donated by businessman Hezron Awiti.

The project will be undertaken under the Lost Prizes International programme, which deals with the rehabilitation of addicts of various substances. The programme's president Ken McCluskey said the youth's talents need to be identified and nurtured.

He said failure to do so may push people to drug abuse. Awiti asked the government to support the reformed addicts by helping them to be financially stable to keep them from falling back drug abuse. ACIGT president Humphrey Oborah said counseling the addicts is not the solution. "We want to bring science into the process. We want solutions that are tenable and that can work through the test of time," said Oborah at the Wild Waters Complex.

However, the Citizens Against Child and Drug Abuse and the Responsible Citizens Initiative differed with Oborah. "These addicts need counseling before any initiative is undertaken to treat them," said RCI's Fidelis Kalite. Cicada's Farouq Saad said drugs should be legalised so the government can collect tax from the business. "If you can't beat them, join them," said Saad.

He argued that the government can use the revenue collected to treat the addicts. More than 50 drug addicts said the government has neglected them forcing some of them to relapse, two years after they stopped abusing drugs. The two NGOs also questioned the use of the Sh1 billion allocated to Nacada.

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