The Minister of Internal Affairs, Major General Retired, David T.O. Taluva and others have on the 29th august, 2023 during the press briefing, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Conference room noted the need for a prompt action on the Kush intake by youths in the country.
The minister of internal affairs, the Minister of Social Welfare, Melrose Karminty, and the Ag. Executive Director, Advocaid, Juliet Kakai, all spoke on the need to act fast to ensure the issue is put under sustainable control.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, said that Drug prevention work is not easy, so government is working to develop the capacity of those who are going to do the work. He revealed that as a Ministry, they have designed a strategy, which they shall be presenting to Cabinet this week for review and subsequent approval, before they go into action.
“If this drug business continues, Sierra Leone will not have a future because we will not have people to hand over the future to. We want to be able to cut off the supply chain because that is the only way we can win the war” he emphasised, adding that an inter-ministerial council has been set up and it has started consultations with the media and Civil society, adding that they are also going to design programmes to help those who are affected.
In her submission, Melrose Karminty, Minister of Social Welfare, said that as a Ministry, they are now looking for suitable locations, where they can immediately build psychosocial centers where their social workers can access the users and assess their rehabilitation needs.
“We know community engagement and sensitization is very key and that is why we have employed over 140 social workers to help do the work.” She said.
Ag. Executive Director, Advocaid, Juliet Kaikai, said that the country doesn’t have systems in the prison to rehabilitate victims and there are also gaps in the law for harm reduction. She also emphasised that there is need for systems to be put in place for rehabilitation and to deal with relapse issues.
“All of the cases we see on social media are mainly people in the informal sectors, the poor victims. We need to start seeing the dealers arrested” she emphasised, maintaining that those who are using the drug now can be encouraged to make informed decisions and given the right platform to speak about their problems, but they are being beaten up and stigmatized. She said our prison system is already overwhelmed and we don’t need drug addicts to add to the problem.