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DP Gachagua opens up on past struggle with alcohol, calls for radical crackdown

Gachagua calls for random checks in universities & boarding schools using sniffer dogs to crackdown on drug and substance abuse

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua speaking during a meeting of leaders and other stakeholders from the Rift Valley on ending illegal brew and drugs abuse in Nakuru County on May 29, 2023.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua shared a personal revelation about his past struggles with alcohol abuse.

Addressing a conference on eradicating alcoholism and drug abuse in the Rift Valley region on Monday, May 29, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua candidly admitted to battling excessive drinking.

He said that after embracing Christianity, he successfully overcame his alcohol abuse and experienced a remarkable transformation.

He attributed, attributing his success to a life free from alcohol.

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He extended an invitation to those struggling with alcohol addiction, urging them to consider following his path to sobriety.

The President, Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof Kithure Kindiki, and the rest of us, none has a problem with alcohol. I must admit I used to drink a lot before I got saved and since I stopped drinking my things have been very good,” Gachagua spoke.

Gachagua said that by quitting alcohol, Kenyans can significantly improve their circumstances and unlock their true potential.

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That is how I am deputy president. I invite those who drink to consider dropping it and maybe your things will get better," Gachagua said.

The DP also expressed deep concern over the involvement of rogue police officers who not only operate drinking establishments but also engage in bribery.

He said that these officers, entrusted with the responsibility of apprehending intoxicated individuals, often find themselves inebriated while on duty.

Gachagua called for swift action against such officers, highlighting the need to maintain integrity and ensure that the law is upheld.

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Gachagua further drew attention to the alarming proliferation of illicit alcohol and its impact on society.

He denounced unscrupulous individuals involved in the production of hazardous alcohol in unsanitary distilleries, falsely packaging and selling it as authorized brands.

To combat this grave issue, the government vows to punish those responsible for endangering public health.

The Deputy President emphasized the critical distinction between responsible alcohol consumption and the consumption of poisonous substances masquerading as legitimate alcoholic beverages.

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Gachagua also called for random checks in universities & boarding schools using sniffer dogs to crackdown on drug and substance abuse.

He heaped praise on a school from Mathira Constituency in Nyeri County that sought the help of police officers to search students as they reported back to school.

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According to recent statistics from the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), certain regions in Kenya exhibit higher rates of alcoholism.

The Western region currently holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest prevalence, with an alcoholism rate of 23.8%.

It is closely followed by the Coastal region at 13.9% and the Central region at 12.8%.

These figures underscore the urgent need for targeted interventions and awareness campaigns in these areas to tackle the pervasive issue of alcohol addiction.

A deeper analysis of alcohol consumption patterns reveals distinct preferences across different regions of Kenya.

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In the Western region, chang'aa and traditional brews dominate the alcohol landscape.

Conversely, the Central region exhibits the highest prevalence of potable spirits, followed by the Coast and Rift Valley regions.

Understanding these regional variances in alcohol preferences can inform targeted initiatives aimed at reducing alcohol-related harm and promoting healthier lifestyle choices.

The Central region experiences the highest current tobacco usage rate at 11.9%, trailed by the Coast region at 10.8% and the Eastern region at 10.7%.

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