By Tony Wafula
Kimilili Member of Parliament (MP) Didmus Barasa has disagreed with the NACADA report stating that the Western region leads in the consumption of alcohol and other substance abuse. Speaking in his Constituency at Matili in a funeral service on Saturday, the vocal MP trashed the NACADA report saying that the Western region is not the leader in alcohol consumption.
“These people should do their research well and come up with a vivid report on alcohol consumption, Central Kenya should be the one leading on this but not the Western region,” he said. The Kenya Kwanza MP said that Western region people are very reproductive arguing that if the Western region was leading then the population could have done down. “There is a region where the reproduction rate is very high, then it is the Western region, those people should stop painting us that way,” Barasa said. On high insecurity incidents in his Constituency, The MP called on the area OCPD to liaise with chiefs and conduct a search to arrest suspicious people who are linked to insecurity in the region. Western Region recorded the highest prevalence of alcohol use at 24 per cent in 2022, with at least 767,789 users accounting for the number. This is from a report by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) on the use of drugs and substance abuse in the country, released on Friday, May 12, 2023.
The 2022 National Survey on the Status of Drugs and Substance Use in Kenya report also shows that out of the 767,789 users, 11.4 per cent consume chang’aa, while 13 per cent consume traditional liquor. The Coastal region comes second in the prevalence of alcohol use. At least 447,877 people, (14 per cent) users with the majority consuming traditional liquor and portable spirits.
The survey also established that alcohol continues to be the most widely used substance of abuse in Kenya with findings pointing towards increasing demand for cheaper and readily available alcoholic products, especially chang’aa and portable spirits. The results of the research also showed that the prevalence of cannabis use almost doubled over the last five years, the growing demand for cannabis especially among the youth could be attributed to the low perception of harm due to myths, misinformation and misconceptions.