AID Sierra Leone – PRESS RELEASE 2020/001
17th February, 2020
The Advocacy Initiative for Development (AID-SL) is deeply concerned about the high increase of drug abuse, lawlessness and indiscipline our young people are engaged in, and calls on the attention of the government through it inter-sectorial apparatus to address this with immediate effect to prevent further escalation that can be counterproductive and detrimental to the hard worn peace and cohesion of our country, and at the same time not to impede on the frantic effort we are making as a developing nation.
AID-SL is aware of the numerous commitments the government of Sierra Leone is having in connection to service delivery in different areas, and has complimented the efforts of the state in the thematic areas we are working on since inception two (2) decades this year.
With the help of our volunteers, well meaning individuals at community levels particularly in the western area rural and urban, we were able to conduct findings which outcome indicates that a very good number of our young people are in to massive misuse of drugs and most times have very negative aftermath that leads to violence and related vices.
Through our findings, we learnt that tramadol, kush, kumbayjara (traditional plant superstitiously to scare snakes away) and now boiled pampas water are used as drugs to make young people constantly feel high.
The findings further unearth that unemployment, poor parenting and frustration with the system which some perceived not working in their favor are key responsible factors leading them in to drugs among others.
AID-SL acknowledged the government of Sierra Leone strides in introducing the Free Quality Education Initiative, Military and Police recruitments drive to incorporate young people, the National Mineral Agency (NMA) promises to provide around 15 thousand jobs for Sierra Leoneans by December this year, Ministry of Health and Sanitation recruitments of over 4,000 workers and many more ongoing projects in our nations Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s).
But most times because of the focus of the authorities in certain prioritize sectors, some other areas will definitely grapple with challenges ranging from low budgetary allocation, mismatch between allocation and disbursement, understaffing and many more. And when a situation of this nature is going on, the greatest losers are ordinary people with particular reference to hard to reach localities in Sierra Leone.
It is our fervent hope that if necessary and timely actions are taken, we will be able to save our generation and current huge investment in education to advance human capital development and elsewhere will not be in vein.
AID-SL calls on the government to utilize an integrated and a broad-based approach led by communities in affected areas to make this challenge a thing of the past or reduced it to a level that it may seemed not in existence. The involvement of non-state actor’s i.e. civil society, the media, artist/entertainers, religious groups, institutions such as schools, universities and colleges are crucial platforms that can play great roles in combating this menace.
Against this backdrop, AID–SL remains very open to collaboration in addressing this unfortunate situation that is eating into the fabric of our society.
God bless our beloved nation, Sierra Leone.
Mohamed B. Koroma