facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Christians and Muslims Unite to Fight Drug Abuse in Kenya

With the government turning a blind eye to a growing "national disaster," religious groups put aside their differences to help.


Churches and mosques offer preventative
education Photo via

By Chrisanne Grise


| Share

Christian and Muslim groups in Kenya are putting aside their religious differences to join in helping combat alcohol and drug addiction, as concerns over substance abuse increase, The Washington Post reports. Religious leaders have declared a national disaster, saying that young Kenyans are increasingly turning to drugs—mainly heroin, cocaine, alcohol, bhang (marijuana) and khat—due to poverty, unemployment, foreign influences and ignorance about the dangers of addiction. In an effort to improve the situation, both Sunday schools and Islamic madrassas are offering preventative education and life skills training to improve public awareness. Some groups are also offering rehab and psychosocial support. “We have been taking a leading role for some time, since the community and the government have been in denial,” says Rev. Wilfred Kogo, head of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa’s drug abuse division. “We are going beyond our own congregations to also educate our neighbors.”

Churches began speaking out about substance abuse in the East African country back in the late 1990s, when drug-related riots became a problem for schools. And in 2008, students accused of consuming alcohol and drugs in over 300 secondary schools destroyed millions of dollars worth of school property. “We were very alarmed,” says Francis Kihara, a lay leader in the East African Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church of Kenya. “We went visiting primary and secondary (high) schools and educating the children about drugs.” A 2012 report found that 13% of kids ages 10 to 14 have used an intoxicating substance like alcohol. In addition, almost 12% of 15 to 24-year-olds abuse alcohol, and 6% regularly consume tobacco products. But the government may finally be willing to step in: President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered security forces to deport or arrest any suspected foreign drug traffickers earlier this month. “This is the strongest commitment against drugs that we heard in 51 years,” says Sheikh Juma Ngao, director of Kenya’s National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol And Drug Abuse. “It is a key boost to our work.”

Most Popular
Sober Living
Did I Pick the Wrong Sponsor, Or Is it Me?

After four years of thinking about asking someone to sponsor me, someone finally asked to be my sponsor. But I'm not sure it was a good decision... for either of us.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious San Diego rehab has a program for you—if you can tear yourself away from “the most amazing massages ever."

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv