Home NEWS County News Community leaders, educators unite to combat miraa, muguka menace in Mombasa

Community leaders, educators unite to combat miraa, muguka menace in Mombasa

Christian and Muslim religious leaders together with the Muslim Education Welfare and Association (MEWA) address the media on the fight against Miraa-abuse in Mombasa. Photos by Cyzick Sidayi

Mombasa clergy have urged the government to prohibit the sale and consumption of Miraa and Muguka nationwide, citing them as major contributors to the formation of juvenile gangs and advocating for safeguarding children from the detrimental effects of substance abuse.

Speaking to the press at the MEWA Community Centre following an interfaith gathering to unveil findings from a Situational Assessment on Stimulant use among youth in Mombasa and Lamu counties, Hussein Taib from MEWA Health and Harm Reduction emphasized that these stimulants are readily available at marketplaces and close to schools, facilitating easy access for children.

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Taib emphasized that the government should not only restrict the sale to specific areas but also declare it illegal, akin to cannabis and heroin.

He highlighted their assessment, revealing that school-going children, aged 10 to 17, are increasingly consuming Muguka, which is sold for as little as Ksh 50 even in marketplaces like Kongowea.

Their target, he mentioned, was 1000 individuals, with 708 already engaged in the program since its inception in October.

Sensitization efforts have been conducted with community members, elders, and leaders, including religious figures.

“We call upon the government to enforce a ban on the sale of Muguka near schools and marketplaces. Our children can easily access it when sent to buy groceries,” he stressed.

Furthermore, he underscored that the law categorizes Miraa and Muguka as drugs and substances.

He cautioned that uncontrolled consumption of Muguka can lead to mental instability, with a significant number of rehabilitation centre patients being victims of the substance.

Bishop Geofrey Nyongesa from Nyali echoed these concerns, noting the adverse effects on educated youth, some of whom have developed psychiatric issues.

He urged the government to intervene and urged Muguka and Miraa vendors to pursue alternative, non-harmful businesses.

As an interfaith coalition, Nyongesa announced plans to petition the county government to implement a ban on the sale and consumption of these substances in Mombasa, pledging to extend their advocacy nationwide to curb the detrimental impact on the younger generation’s productivity.

Fatuma Said, a nursery school teacher and community development stakeholder, lamented the neglect of maternal duties due to overnight Muguka chewing sessions among women.

She urged the government to employ strategies akin to those used in combating illicit brews to eradicate Muguka and Miraa use.

Mombasa County Governor Abdulswamad Nassir instructed the education department to collaborate in identifying all public and private schools to ensure no sale of Miraa or Muguka near these institutions.

Nassir warned of severe repercussions for those peddling drugs near schools, stressing a zero-tolerance policy for such activities.

“We will not compromise on our children’s well-being. Those selling Muguka and other stimulants to school-going children will face the full force of the law. An inspection team will monitor and enforce compliance,” he declared at a previous event in Mombasa, emphasizing the need for businesses to operate away from areas frequented by children.

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