ILLEGAL drug abuse is at an all-time high in Namibia, Health and Social Services Minister Richard Kamwi, warned yesterday. Speaking at a ceremony in Windhoek, the Health Minister cited media coverage earlier this year of a number of foreign suspects arrested and found in possession of cocaine, after flying to Namibia from Brazil, to underline what is happening.
Approximately N$3 million worth of cocaine was seized by the Polices Drug Law Enforcement Unit in those hauls. Kamwi congratulated the Police on these arrests, saying drug abuse has come under the spotlight in Namibia.
But these uniformed men and women cannot do it alone. For them to succeed calls on all of us as Namibians to be whistle-blowers. Namibia should not and never should be used as a route or dumping place for their illegal activities, Kamwi said.
He called especially on women, who he said often suffer domestic violence because of drug and alcohol abuse, to expose those involved in the trade.
Statistics suggest that more and more females are involved in illicit trafficking. We saw for example an Angolan husband who recently lost his Namibian wife due to the swallowing of cocaine, the Minister said.
Especially worrying, the Minister said, is Namibias gradual transition from a transit route for illegal drugs to a consumer country.
Were such a small country of two million. How can we allow this to happen.UN Acting Resident Co-ordinator Joyce Mends-Cole shared Kamwis concerns. She underlined that drug abuse is threatening the developmental gains made since Independence.
No individual, family or community is safe where illicit drugs take control. Drugs may control the body and mind of individual consumers, the drug crop and drug cartels may control farmers and other producers of food crops, illicit trafficking and crime may control communities, Mends-Cole said.
Although the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is still three days away, Namibia already yesterday pledged its alliance with the United Nations against the drug trade. The official commemoration of the day takes place on Friday, but the Health Ministry decided to bring forward because of other commitments over the weekend.
Two marches are scheduled to be held on Friday and Saturday in Windhoek to mark the day. The first of these will start at 08h00 on Friday at Tommy Jarman Funeral Services in Khomasdals Hans-Dietrich Genscher Street. That march will end at the David Bezuidenhout High School, where the group Teenagers Against Drug Abuse (TADA) will entertain participants.