I am so saddened by the emerging trend being put in place by drug cartels with the worse hit victims being children and youths especially from the slums. According to Kenyan local daily Newspaper, the Nairobian I have been able to note that drug barons especially in the field of marijuana have emerged with a new trick for their clients to abuse Bhang. The use of Bhang in Kenya according to Kenyan laws is illegal and anyone caught possessing or abusing faces severe penalties and if you are not rich you may end up dying in jail.

The most common mode of abusing bhang is through smoking, but the new method they have emerged with is using Bhang as one of the ingredients when baking cookies, brownies, muffins, chocolates or sweets. Not having the distinctive smell of the dug, makes it more difficult to tell the difference between the ordinary baked foods or confectionary and the illegal products.

According to the news paper they did they own investigations and come to know that the supply chain of these ‘weed food stuffs’ have sealed their channels of distribution and if you are not in the channel you cannot manage to buy them, a practical case was when they followed the channel and come to know the shop where the products are being sold with the help of one of the suppliers who never want his identity to be disclosed, they tried to buy but they were told the stock is out of order and asked to come the next day but they played and beat around the bush and at the end they did not manage to buy the stuff which goes for one dollar or even less than that. The only place they managed to buy one was at the local campus with the help of one of the buyers.

Their conclusion to settle on such kid of charges (prices) are based on their targeted clients who are the youths and children, it is believed that youths use these stuffs when they go for parties and outdoor activities. In these parties alcohol consumption is believed to be very low but consumption of baked stuffs is very high. The youths have been warned to be very careful on what they consume when they go out for parties or when they hang out with friends, the children too have not been spared by these warnings since they are part of the targeted chain consumers, but with the kids it is very hard to stop them not to take cookies, chocolates and sweets

Through the newspaper there is a new group that has also joined consumer chain; they are expatriates, politicians and church pastors. Pastors are believed to use them to give them energy when they stand on the pulpit to preach, what a shame for the Kenyan church leaders.

To add pain to the wound is that things that children like using such as lollipop and baobab seeds have not been spared, with the wider market being in the major slums, where they also sell them at a cheaper price for the children to afford and buy more without knowing the consequences that awaits them, all these have exposed that poor child from the slum to Bhang at a tender age, all these have left my mouth wide open asking myself where are we heading to.

As I conclude let me say my organization will not spare the rod and we too are going to embark on a mission to create more awareness to children and youths both in and out of school with the message of them being careful with what they take and if they come across a suspected supplier or suspect unusual behavior after consuming what they have bought from the streets they let us know and we are going to try and involve the authorities to see what to do and if they are going to be arrested and be released after they offer bribe as they are used to, we are going to mobilize the public to demonstrate against such unlawful behaviors to our kids, and with your support as you have been encouraging us to keep on and on, we know we will make it.

Complied by

George Ochieng
Slum Child Foundation