Alcohol and Substance Abuse Baseline Survey Validation in Kikuyu Sub-County,Kiambu County

In September 2020, CEEC with support from HorizonT3000 validated Alcohol and Substance abuse baseline survey findings in Kikuyu Sub County. The findings were a result of a baseline survey on the Prevalence and Effect of Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Effectiveness of Intervention Models in Kiambu County which was conducted by CEEC with the support of DKA Austria in 2018. The validation exercise took place in the five wards in Kikuyu Sub County namely Nachu, Karai, Kikuyu, Sigona and Kinoo bringing together a total of 104 community leaders. Overall, feedback received confirmed the survey findings that indeed alcohol and substance abuse is a serious problem that is causing untold suffering within the community. The problem has been exacerbated by frustrations caused by loss of livelihoods due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The validation meeting participants also confirmed that the community has played a role in escalating the problem mainly due to ignorance that addiction is a disease that needs treatment. Due to this ignorance, those abusing alcohol and other substances are ostracized and condemned instead of being given the assistance and support they need. The participants expressed grave concern at the government’s apathy towards this scourge that is threatening to wipe out a whole generation of young people. Most of the participants were not aware that: there is an allocation in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) to address the problem; that close to Ksh.100 million is collected every year from alcohol licenses and it is deposited in the Alcoholic Drinks Control Fund, which according to the Kiambu Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2018, should be channeled back to the fight against alcohol abuse; and that provision had been made within the CIDP for a public Rehabilitation Centre to be constructed in Kikuyu Sub County. All the participants of the validation meetings were in consensus on the urgent need for a public Rehabilitation Centre since the private rehabilitation centres in the county are way out of the reach of most people due to the exorbitant fees. They committed to do community advocacy to curb alcohol and substance abuse generally and specifically for the establishment of a public Rehabilitation Centre.