Freetown City Council hosts youth roundtable on addressing the kush pandemic

FCC Comms: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 April 2024:

Freetown City Council has had a first-hand view of the increasingly devastating impacts of kush on the lives of Freetonians. Over the course of the past few months, we have seen an extremely alarming escalation in the numbers of unclaimed corpses (dead bodies) lying on our streets.

Our data indicates that over 150 corpses were reported in the eight months to the end of March. This is a massive increase of deaths of youth on our streets and is directly linked to kush.

At the same time Freetown City Council has also seen a growing trend of the desecration of graves and the subsequent removal of human bones.

Allegedly this dreadful criminal activity and disrespect for the dead is also linked to the kush pandemic as it is reported that the human bones are ground and added to the mixture used to make the killer drug.

Freetown City Council is now working with the Sierra Leone Police to provide night security patrols to stop these terrible criminal activities in our cemeteries.

In response to the kush crisis, on Friday 5th April, Freetown City Council hosted a roundtable discussion with youth who are committed to addressing the kush pandemic, and who have already been working on various interventions.

It was an opportunity to bring the various youth/ youth groups together, to hear directly from them and to collectively review the Freetown City Council’s draft intervention plan with an appreciation that implementation will require collective efforts.

The three main thrusts of the plan that were discussed were: (i) raising awareness of the dangers of KUSH; (ii) helping kush addicts access rehabilitation and counselling services; and (iii) supporting the families of kush addicts to cope with the challenges this poses for them and to help them help their loved ones to get off kush. (Please note that FCC’s Metropolitan Police enforcement mandate is limited to the enforcement of FCC’s bylaws on sanitation, animal welfare and public nuisance).

The outputs of the Youth Roundtable discussions are now being collated and a “Say No To kush” intervention plan will be produced for action by Freetown City Council in collaboration with the youth groups and other stakeholders.

Thanks to everyone who attended Friday’s roundtable including but not limited to representatives of House of Happiness, CODaP, Students from COMAHS, FBC, IPAM, UNIMTECH, Social Workers Sierra Leone and Hamza4SL.

We will stand together to fight against kush.


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