Youth Minister expresses concern over Kush epidemic

The Minister of Youth Affairs, Mohamed Orman Bangura has expressed worries over the pervasive spread of Kush among the youth population in Sierra Leone.

“I am deeply troubled by the pervasive spread of Kush among our young population,” Minister Orman stated.

He maintained that the issue transcends social boundaries, affecting both the rich and the poor, as evidenced by revelations within government circles, adding that it is a national crisis that demands urgent and collective action from all sectors of society.

He referenced that the government through the National Youth Policy – 2020 (page 40) stated its drive to addressing substance abuse aimed at promoting and establishing safe communities for the young people and that they have established a rehabilitation center to rehabilitate victims of substance abuse.

“I commend the efforts of individuals and institutions advocating, sensitizing, and empowering victims genuinely behind the cameras; just as we successfully tackled the issue of “pampas Water” through collaboration between the Ministries of Youth and Health, community leaders, and engaged citizens, we believe that together we can overcome this current challenge,” he said.

He acknowledged that their commitment to supporting and uplifting those affected is instrumental in creating a safer and healthier environment for young people.

“However, it is appalling to witness individuals (self-prescribed advocates and social media influencers) exploiting vulnerable youth for the sake of social media notoriety, perpetuating a cycle of harm and endangerment,” he said.

He furthered that the behavior is not only morally reprehensible but also criminal, and that those responsible must be held accountable for paying the victims to say negative things, buying the drug for the victims to capture that on camera and sit with the victims as they smoke to get evidence of the act.

He stressed that there are videos circulating around of those exploiting the victims and situation. He noted that it is unacceptable and must be condemned as the act of experimenting the substance abuse itself is a crime.

That the insidious practice of incentivizing victims to engage in destructive behavior for the sake of online content is abhorrent and must be swiftly addressed.

“We call upon law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who are complicit in fueling this destructive trend. We must stand united in our commitment to safeguarding the well-being and future of our youth, ensuring they are protected from such exploitative and harmful influences,” he asked.

He sent a clear and unwavering message to the drug lords – the importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers who profit from the spread of kush, noting that justice will be served. Just as the victims of substance abuse suffer the consequences of their actions, so too will those who perpetuate this destructive cycle, he said.

“The law will not turn a blind eye to those who prey on vulnerable individuals for their own gain. We will hold the perpetrators accountable and ensure that they pay the equal price for their actions as the victims,” he stated.

He ended that with a collaborative approach, the networks that profit from the suffering of young people will be dismantled and then work towards a future where safety, health and well-being are prioritized above all else.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *