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Devised Strategies to Combat Drug Epidemic



The recent Special National Town Hall Engagement on the fight against Kush, held on the 2nd of April 2024, was a significant event that showcased a resolute stance by government officials and stakeholders toward eradicating the drug menace plaguing Sierra Leone. The town hall exemplified a united front across various sectors, underlining a comprehensive strategy encompassing enforcement, rehabilitation, and community involvement to combat the Kush crisis.



During the event, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh emphasized stringent measures against Kush offenders and declared a zero-tolerance policy towards bail for individuals apprehended with the substance, irrespective of legal representation. Additionally, two magistrates have been assigned exclusively to handling drug-related matters, ensuring swift adjudication in such cases.


Under the directive of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio, a National Task Force on drug and substance abuse has been initiated. The collaborative effort aims to unite stakeholders across the country and diaspora to amplify the fight against drug abuse.



Emphasizing the importance of disrupting the supply chain, Executive Director of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Andrew Jaia Kaikai, highlighted the need to target importers and manufacturers. He underscored the imperative for comprehensive measures to eradicate the scourge of Kush and protect the youth, notably through initiatives like the Feed Salone Project.


The Minister of Social Welfare, Melrose Karminty, outlined government commitments to combat Kush effectively. Key initiatives include funding for community sensitization, the establishment of the first Government Rehab Center, and robust support for rehabilitation efforts, leading to the successful recovery of numerous victims. 



The Minister of Health raised alarms regarding the health risks associated with locally manufactured Kush and pledged medical assistance for victims. Meanwhile, the Minister of Youth proposed a grassroots approach involving District Youth Councils to deter drug use among youths amidst escalating market prices.


The Minister of Internal Affairs and Inspector General of Police reported on successful anti-Kush operations, arrests, and prosecutions, signaling progress in combating drug-related crimes. They underscored the unwavering commitment to intensify law enforcement actions under the National Drug Control Act.



The Attorney General assured focused prosecution and legislative reforms to bolster enforcement, while calls were made for bipartisan support and depoliticizing the fight against Kush. Opposition and government representatives united in advocating for cohesive legislative reforms to strengthen the battle against drug trafficking.


Religious leaders, paramount chiefs, journalists, survivors, civil society organizations, and diverse groups rallied behind the government's anti-Kush efforts, urging a collective focus on disrupting the supply chain and fostering community collaboration.



Overall, the National Town Hall Engagement exemplified a united front across various sectors, underlining a comprehensive strategy encompassing enforcement, rehabilitation, and community involvement to combat the Kush crisis. The collaborative spirit showcased at the event signals a promising trajectory in the nation's concerted efforts to combat drug addiction. 









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