In combating the rampant spread of Kush selling and intake, the Youth Task Force of Yeliboya Island, located in the Samu Chiefdom of Kambia District, took decisive action by conducting a rigorous operation in the surrounding mangrove forest. Led by Komrabai Boston, the task force successfully apprehended a significant number of individuals engaged in the consumption of Kush, a highly addictive and dangerous drug.

Yeliboya Island, once a thriving hub of fishing activities with a vibrant community of youths involved in boat fishing, has witnessed a sharp decline in its fishing industry due to the proliferation of Kush. What was once a center for fish trading, both on a retail and large scale, has now become plagued by the social menace of Kush addiction, leading to increased rates of theft and other criminal activities.

Recognizing the urgent need to address this pressing issue, a group of proactive youths on the island heeded the call of the government and other advocacy groups to eradicate the scourge of Kush from their society. Thus, they initiated a bold campaign dubbed “Operations Weed the Kush Selling and Intake,” with the aim of ridding their community of this destructive substance.

On the 24th of March, 2024, the Youth Task Force, armed with determination and resolve, launched a coordinated raid on the mangrove forest, a known hotspot for Kush smokers. The operation yielded significant results, with over a hundred individuals apprehended and brought before the authorities in the township for questioning.

During interrogation, the captured individuals confessed to the allure of Kush and the immense difficulty they faced in breaking free from its grip. Many of them, including school-going pupils, admitted to forsaking their education in favor of indulging in Kush smoking, highlighting the alarming extent of the problem among the youth population.

The testimonies of these individuals shed light on the pervasive influence of Kush within the community and underscored the urgent need for concerted efforts to combat its spread. They urged the Youth Task Force to ensure stringent measures are put in place to prevent the sale of Kush on the island, emphasizing that without such measures, they would find it nearly impossible to resist the temptation to continue using the drug.

Yeliboya Island, being the largest and most populated island in the Samu Chiefdom and the Kambia District, has been particularly vulnerable to the invasion of Kush, causing concern among parents and business owners alike. The dwindling fishing activities, once a lifeline for many youths on the island, have further exacerbated the problem, leaving many unemployed and vulnerable to the lure of substance abuse.

In light of these developments, calls have been made for increased vigilance and surveillance by government and security forces to curb the illicit trade and consumption of Kush on the island. It is evident that the fight against Kush cannot be waged by government and security forces alone; it requires the active involvement and support of the community at large.

Abu Bakarr Daramy, a Kush smoker from Yeliboya Island, testified to the complicity of some parents and community members in perpetuating the cycle of addiction by using Kush as a means of profit, unwittingly contributing to their own downfall. Such revelations underscore the need for greater awareness and education initiatives to address the root causes of substance abuse and addiction within the community.

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