Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR'S First Vice-President, Mr Seif Sharif Hamad, said on Monday that there will be no full development in the islands until the challenge of narcotic drug abuse among youths is controlled.
"Youths should abandon the use of drugs and be able to play an important role in the development of Zanzibar.
We need the youths driving our development plans to complete success," said Hamad at brief ceremony to launch the 'National anti-drugs Commission.'
He said at the function held at Forodhani People's Palace Museum Hall that the narcotic drugs business was now becoming a national problem, "and concerted efforts are required to address the canker."
The first vice-president said the islands should not have lazy youths who spend most of their time abusing illicit drugs or under the influence of the drugs. He warned that the islands prosperity may be affected or delayed for years if the drug business continues.
He added that the launch of the commission was among the government's strategies in combating drugs in the islands. In the administrative structure of the Government of National Unity (GNU), "the campaign against illicit drugs, the welfare of disabled persons and Environment protection" are under the First vice- president's office.
"We have a number of programmes that are designed to save our youths from narcotic drugs. One of the programmes is having rehabilitation centres or 'sober houses' which have been useful in the past three years," said Hamad.
In his speech at the function, Hamad said that about 400 out of the 2,000 drugs addicted youths have recovered completely with help from the sober houses, and are taking part in national development activities. However, Hamad said that "in order to maintain the success in rescuing youths from indulgence in narcotic drugs, drug trafficking must be stopped."