Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has announced plans to set up rehab centres in all counties in the fight against alcoholism and drugs and substance abuse.
Gachagua noted that the situation is bad and if not checked, the country stares at a risk of having an entire generation wiped out.
He was speaking Thursday in a meeting that brought together officials from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, National Government Administration officers, Kenya Revenue Authority, the Anti-Counterfeit Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, and the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse.
Gachagua called for enhanced collaboration among all stakeholders led by the security sector and criminal justice to end alcohol and substance abuse menace in Central Kenya and the country.
The DP said the government has also planned a consultation with counties to deliberate on laws that need to be formulated to fight illicit brew.
“We are in talks with county assemblies and they have assured us of their support. We want laws in place by June 30 this year to deal with the menace in the regions,” he said.
Gachagua said he held two meetings with the leadership from the central region, seeking a solution to the menace which if successful, would be replicated in all other counties.
“We are talking with governors. We want them to identify addicts with the help of community health workers and give them NHIF cover,” he said.
“It costs between Sh50,000 to Sh120,000 to get rehabilitation services for a minimum of three months. It’s a very expensive affair,” he added.
Gachagua further urged members of the county assemblies to continue complementing the national government, by formulating laws and policies that will guide the country on how to deal with those found to be aiding the spread of alcohol abuse through production or consumption.
“…..We have asked for stringent fines and prison terms for people found to manufacture, peddle and consume illicit alcohol,” he stated.
The DP reiterated that the government is committed to winning the war by hook or crook.
“This war must be won. It will be won through a concerted effort by men and women in this room. Agreeing that we have a problem and a responsibility to save a generation.”
Gachagua said after Mt Kenya, the war against alcoholism and substance abuse will head to the South and North Rift, Mombasa, and then Western.
“The fight started in Mt Kenya but not because I’m from there. It is because statistics show prevalence is very high there,” he explained.
“There are no people you can employ in Central. Women and young girls are the people working in construction sites,” he added.