Medical doctors and other professionals are among thousands of young men from Central Kenya struggling with alcoholism captivity, a crisis that is on the verge of denying the country its productive workforce.

Unemployment, depression, bitterness about life, failed ambitions, and family feuds among other challenges have been fingered for the disaster that continues to deepen by the day.

A visit to the sprawling Witeithie village in Juja, Kiambu County established that highly educated people including doctors are among locals quenching their thirst using cheap liquor going for as low as Ksh30.

In what has brought to the fore the crisis that could see the vote-rich region drink itself into oblivion, both men and women are all affected by the intoxication catastrophe that continues to raise questions over the possibility of schools getting extinct in the years to come as the challenge has significantly reduced conjugal relations among the married.

Further, the alcoholism crisis in the region is also feared to lower productivity and increase insecurity as alcoholics do everything possible to have money in their pockets to facilitate the purchase of cheap drinks.

Christopher Macharia Kinyua, a professional doctor who pursued medical biotechnology, medical biochemistry, and molecular biology at JKUAT is one among the professionals whose education is going to waste after he submitted to alcoholism over joblessness.

Macharia says that his academic certificates are lying useless at home as he failed to secure a permanent job.

The medical doctor who survives on low-come jobs insisted that idleness has been giving him a field day to enjoy all sorts of cheap liquor with other unskilled Kenyans.

“I have all the documents with me but they are lying idle as I failed to secure a job and now survive on low-come jobs, sometimes once a week. This is how I find time to drink,” Macharia, a middle-aged man told journalists.

Regretting that most of his campus schoolmates have also been grappling with unemployment, Macharia noted that most of them end up getting depressed while others take overdose drinks that in most cases end them drenched in rainwater that soak them.

Samuel Njoroge, a resident of Witeithie village who has been struggling to fight the menace regretted that the danger is so rampant in most informal settlements and urgent interventions are required to avert deaths.

“It is possible to wipe out alcoholism if all stakeholders come together but first things first, we must endeavor to reduce the number of bars in all areas,” said Njoroge.

To address the crisis, a group of humanitarians has volunteered to crusade against the menace through door-to-door outreaches with the motive of rescuing the few who can be liberated.

Under the umbrella of the Mwanaume ni Dhamana Initiative, James Mutonga Kariuki and Reverend Jane Gichuki have been leaving nothing to chance to help unshackle the addicts from the slavery that they now describe as an epidemic.

Mutonga and Gichuki revealed their calling was informed by the possibility of alcoholism wiping out a generation from the expansive region, most of whom have lost hope in life.

The two decried the skyrocketed number of bars in the region and the high uptake of other outlawed substances such as heroin, bhang and tobacco that continue to render most productive young people and even the elderly into zombies.

“We have a duty to rescue the few we can. Rehabilitating our brothers and sisters affected by the menace starts with speaking to them about the dangers of alcoholism and empowering them to live better lives,” said Gichuki.

Although there have been efforts to reduce the number of bars, the problem has been compounded by complacency among some administrators and law enforcers.

So bad is the high uptake of illicit brews and drug abuse that in some areas, men are stealing home appliances which they take to bars in exchange for cheap, illicit alcohol.

As a result, families are falling apart, children dropping out of school, and mothers fear their husbands have been turned into vegetables.


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