The Chief Justice of Kenya, David Maraga has advised university students against drug and substance abuse, which he warned, could easily compromise their academic and social development.
Maraga decried that despite the existence of legislations aimed at curbing drug trafficking in the country, the menace was growing in intensity; consuming young people and destroying families, especially youth of between 25 and 35 years who are in their prime and could be relied upon to secure the country’s socio-economic prosperity.
The Chief Justice who was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Yucabeth Nyaboke Maraga, was speaking at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) during the launch of the Drug Awareness Campaign, Saturday, May 18, 2019.
He urged students to be vigilant in the fight against drug abuse further warning that the love for money has eroded the societal values, observing that the society had accommodated drugs traffickers who easily access and avail drugs to the youth.
“For the love of money, the drug barons are availing the drugs to the society and as a result, drug abuse is among the key challenges in the country,” Mr. Maraga, said.
He brought out the horrific consequences of the drug and substance abuse among the youths, listing diminishing academic performance, suicidal tendencies, material deprivation in families, unemployment, and poverty, emotional and psychological breakdown.
Mr. Maraga called on the public to unite and help drug addicts who need societal love and support in order to successfully unhook from drug addiction. He urged the students to uphold their prestigious status of being University students and be role models to other youths.
The JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi urged students to avoid drugs at all cost saying, drugs curiosity would lead to highly addictive and disastrous habits.
In a speech read on her behalf by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research, Production and Extension), Prof. Mary Abukutsa, the Vice Chancellor informed students that JKUAT has a proactive Alcohol, Drugs and substance (ADSA) policy that guides and creates public awareness on the negative effects of drugs among the university community.
Prof. Ngumi noted that the policy also outlines useful guidelines for preventing and controlling drug abuse while also building capacity to curb the vice.
Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration) Prof. Bernard Ikua underscored the magnitude of the drug abuse among youths and called for efforts towards ensuring a society free of drugs and substance abuse.
Dean of Students, Rev. Dr. James Wakaba, asked the students to be wary of their social surrounding pointing out that the most targeted drug victims are the students who are easily swayed by peer pressure. He informed students his office had an open door policy and ready to assist those struggling with personal or drug related challenges.
University Chaplain, Rev. Dr. John Karihe spoke on behalf of other chaplaincies, joined pastors, and leaders of Christian groups in expressing their gratitude and honour to host the Chief Justice and reiterated that drug abuse was a challenge facing Kenyan youth.
Others who spoke at the function include; JKUSDA Church Pastor, George Kathurima, Elders – Robert Kiplimo, Philip Oyier, Kamau Gitau and Pastor John Macharia.
The church faithful will stage a drug awareness and sensitization walk around the outskirts of Juja town on Sunday, May 19, at 11am -1 pm. Other activities will include medical camp, counselling sessions and medical missionary expo on the campus.