Sierra Leone authorities burned $200,000 worth of confiscated narcotics and drug-making chemicals on Saturday. This action comes just two weeks after President Julius Maada Bio declared drug abuse a national emergency.

The ceremony, held at the Sierra Leone Police Training Academy in Freetown, saw the destruction of cannabis, cocaine, and chemicals used to manufacture the synthetic drug kush, a prevalent threat in the West African nation. Witnessing the burning were representatives from various law enforcement agencies and a small crowd of onlookers.

“We are destroying confiscated narcotics… to avoid the likelihood of them going back to the community,” declared Mohamed Alieu, head of a police transnational organized crime unit.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency echoed this sentiment. “We are waging a war against kush to save the youths of Sierra Leone from dying of drug addiction,” stated Executive Director Andrew Jaia KaiKai.

Further emphasizing the seriousness of the issue, Joseph Lahai, director of the police’s crime services, remarked, “Our country is in a state of drug confusion and we must eradicate it to protect the future generation.”