By Genet Fekade
Focus should be placed on sensitization works to slash down the number of youths in the city falling prey to drug addiction.
A gap is evident in controlling illegal drug circulation in the city, the Addis Ababa City Administration Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration Control Authority so disclosed.
Getachew Wereti Authority’s General Director told to The Ethiopian Herald that in cognizance of the upward spiral of the problem, the authority is all out to aggressively address the challenge with vibrant sensitization tasks. As such it is working hand -in -glove with youth associations.
Researches drag into light that youths are prone to falling into pitfalls like chewing ‘Chat’ and taking hashish.
However the Authority cannot intercept drugs like heroin, cocaine and others in the city. But that does not mean the problem is not there in the city. Tracking down drug abusers is a bit challenging due to the covert network of abusers and the go-betweens.
According to him,as a preventive bid to the mounting social malice and to protect city’s youths from addiction , the Authority has decided to take on board schools, universities and pertinent organizations.
” As we have not proved effective in controlling this problem there is a lot to be desired from our part. Creating awareness is not a one time job. It obligates an unremitting action,” he added.
Creating and increasing more job opportunities in the city the government will continue protecting youths from squandering the prime time of their lives on harmful activities , as per the director.
Wibayew Solomon is Plan Monitoring and Evaluation Supportive Work Process head within the Authority. She said that, most of the time drugs circulate around hotels. And it is occasionally abusers of it are seen using it freely on public places. But most of them use it secretly making the prevention task difficult.
Hashish houses are becoming ubiquitous across the city, while chewing ‘Chat’ a fad. To counteract the negative trend, the Authority is taking action to discourage the negative unfolding and it will press ahead with this task, she noted.
Tsegaye Tsadik is the Akaki Sub city Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Office head.
Approached by The Ethiopian Herald he admitted failure to taking action against offenders got red handed during the inspection time. This problem is vast in the city, he said. About twenty six business owners engaged in such activities were accused recently. During the inspection period, more than 4500 youths were intercepted on the spot in the sub city while using drug .
According to him these youths were exposed to such places due to lack of awareness. Down the road we have set a program to outreach many potentially vulnerable youths.
Abebaw Abebe is the other Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Office Head in Arada Subcity approached by Herald.
He said that “Addis Ababa is not only the capital city of the country but also the seat of international organizations. A such, we have to make the city drug free. Drug users opt to avoid public places. They exercise their heinous practice under the cover of darkness. Needles to say, the tracing down and controlling task needs more budget. We are working to fill the gap in concert with other stakeholders.”
Getachew Wereti further said that Authority’s task force will continue to control the smoking of cigarette in public places by drawing best lessons from the experience of Mekele. The country is duty-bound to come up with healthy and bright successor generation.
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