Kenya: Alcohol Threatens Big 4 Flagship Initiative
National Authority for Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) warns alcohol is one of the biggest threats to achieving President Uhuru Kenyatta’s big four agenda. The agenda aims at advancing sustainable development in Kenya through bold action across four priority area: manufacturing, universal healthcare coverage, affordable housing and food security.
Currently, alcohol is the most abused drug and specifically, affects youth in Kenya. Children as young as 4 years old were already exposed to alcohol. The youth population is the largest population within the country. Therefore, healthy youth are essential to achieving the big 4 agenda.
Exposure to and use of alcohol by youth is attributed to
- high availability of alcohol,
- poor enforcement of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act (2010),
- proximity of alcohol serving establishments to educational institutions.
According to the The Interior Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Patrick Ole Ntutur school children at primary and secondary levels, bear the biggest burden as studies placed alcohol consumption at its highest at the institutions.
Ole Ntutu called for collaboration between the national and county governments to enforce alcohol control regulation in order to save the generation.
He urged the devolved units to support ongoing programs by NACADA and at the same time to come up with initiatives to sensitize and immunize the communities and the youth against alcohol harm.
Alcohol harm in Kenya
As WHO reports, almost half (49.7%) the alcohol using youth in Kenya binge on the substance. The harm is pervasive in Kenya, which is placed on the higher end for years of life lost due to alcohol.
Kenya urgently needs to adopt a written comprehensive national alcohol control policy and foster collaboration within county governments to effectively implement the alcohol act and boost development through alcohol prevention.