By Andrew Myendo
Dandora has a population of 110,164, with a land area of four kilometers having approximately 27,541 persons per square kilometer. About half of this population are young people between the ages 10 and 35 years of age, a majority of whom do not have anything to do. When walking around Dandora, one is able to spot many pubs, wine and spirit joints, and khat joints. Drug use among young people in Dandora has driven some to crime in order to sustain their drug habits. As a result, many of them have become zombies, dropping out of school and wasting their lives away from an early age. Many parents have to watch their children die or turn to zombies without knowing. Some stay silent about the drug issue affecting their children’s lives due to stigma.
Drug cartels have a strong hold on the community, making the problem even more rampant. The issue of corruption has further complicated this problem. Interventions to these problems have been advocated through; partnership with the existing youth friendly community-based organizations such as Dandora Justice Centre, establishment of a rehabilitation center. We also seek closure of the Dandora dumpsite which serves as a hideout for drug peddlers, and more involvement of NACADA. In addition, a more comprehensive education should be given to youth on how to handle their fellow youth who are affected.
We also urge our elected leaders as a community to make and pass legislative laws that speak into drug and substance abuse among the youth.