As Sierra Leone joins the world over to commemorate the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking on June 26, the National Drugs Control Agency has finally submitted a draft document to the Minister of Internal Affairs for an enactment in to law by parliament.
According to the Executive Director of the National Drugs Control Agency Rtd Inspector General of Police Kandeh Bangura in an exclusive interview yesterday at his Koubassi Building office at Walpole Street in Freetown, noted that Sierra Leone is part of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Mr. Kandeh spoke about the program highlights for this year’s commemoration of the International Day against drug abuse and trafficking which include a march pass along the principal streets of Freetown, holding of seminars across the country and distribution of brochures and movies that depicts the harmful effects of drug use and trafficking.
He added that his agency is currently working with the security sectors in the country to develop strategies and policies to discourage individuals bent on using harmful drugs, and also trafficking it to the country to desist, and ensure that proper mechanism is coordinated to sensitize the public about the dangers of drugs.
Noting that it will be very difficult to eradicate drug use and trafficking but modalities will be put in place by the agency to ensure that it is minimized and discouraged from the society as alcohol, cocaine, heroin and marijuana are the most common drugs trafficked in to the country while criminals become victims of the drug.
He called on the authorities concerned to take drug abuse and trafficking seriously because much work needs to be done to reduce our vulnerability to drugs, and illicit drug trafficking, which spreads crime, corruption and instability, and which ultimately endangers the successful realization of the Millennium Development Goals.
Mr. Kandeh said that the combined efforts over the past decade have greatly enhanced the agencies understanding of the drug problem worldwide and they have strengthened their capacity to resolve and to reduce the damage done by drugs to individuals, their loved ones, to communities and the country as a whole,
He said that when the draft bill is enacted in to law the agency will shoulder responsibility to prevent and reduce the damage that drugs do, and thereby build a healthier and safer world, because drugs continue to destroy lives, generate crime and threaten sustainable development.
Adding that law enforcement agencies need assistance to reduce illicit drug trafficking, “this spreads crime, corruption and instability, and which ultimately endangers the successful realization of the Millennium Development Goals” he stressed.
Ten years ago, in response to the seriousness of the world drug problem, Member States of the United Nations convened a Special Session of the General Assembly, where they committed themselves to a vigorous plan of action to reduce both the supply and demand for drugs. By Saidu Bah