The spouse of the Deputy President, Pastor Dorcas Gachagua, toured Bomet County on a 3-Day visit as part of her “Save the Boychild” campaign.
The highlight of her visit was the launch of the Bomet Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre at Koiwa Hospital, where she received the first cohort of more than 100 drug addicts who have volunteered to be rehabilitated.
During the launch, the Second Lady was joined by Bomet County Governor Hon. Prof. Hillary Barchok, County First Lady Hon. Seline Barchok, County Speaker Hon. Cosmas Korir, Nacada CEO Dr. Antony Omerikwa, Nacada Chairperson Rev. Stephen Marori, among other leaders.
Speaking during the launch, Pastor Dorcas noted a 22% prevalence of drug and substance abuse in Bomet.
“I heard that there is a 22% prevalence of drug abuse in this county. That is very bad. If we don’t do something, this county will be in big trouble,” she said.
In the previous months, the office of the Second Lady, in collaboration with the Bomet County government and other stakeholders, conducted a screening exercise in all five sub-counties across Bomet County to identify those in need of rehabilitation services, where hundreds of young men turned up.
From the screening exercise, those who agreed to join the rehabilitation center include 37 men from Konoin Subcounty, 56 from Sotik Subcounty, 72 from Chepalungu, and 41 from both Bomet East and Bomet Central Subcounties.
In an effort to fight against the vice of drug abuse, Pastor Dorcas asked all county governments to come up with rehabilitation centers to rescue the lives of children, who are the most vulnerable group.
Pastor Dorcas further cautioned those involved in the business of selling illicit brews, warning them that their days are numbered.
“At this time of the day, these boys are already drunk. I think we need to change the way we’re doing things as a government. As I can see here, we have all government officials from police and chiefs, DCC; we are not doing well, and the government of H.E. President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua are putting everything in place in the fight against illicit brew,” she expressed.
On his side, Bomet County Governor Prof. Hillary Barchok said that Koiwa Rehabilitation Facility will not only serve the residents of Bomet but also people from other counties. He urged the addicts not to give up on life, as they have another chance to achieve their dreams. He further mentioned that once they have transformed, the county government will sponsor them to learn different technical courses, which will help them earn their daily bread.
Bomet County First Lady Seline Barchok called upon parents, communities, and the administration to join hands to ensure that the fight against drugs and substance abuse is accomplished.
“There are individuals in our villages who are brewing this illicit alcohol. I want to urge everyone to join hands in this fight against drug and substance abuse so that we can help the young men and women who are already in the crisis to achieve their dreams,” she reiterated.
According to the Chairman of the National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA), Stephen Marorori, who was speaking during the event, more than one million people in the Rift Valley region are addicted to alcohol, drugs, and substances, out of which 400,000 are in need of rehabilitation services.
During her 3-day tour in Bomet County, the Second Lady also visited students from Bomet University, where she led a 10,000 tree-planting exercise in the ongoing 15 billion trees target by 2032 set by President William Ruto in an effort to mitigate climate change. She also visited Sot Technical Training Institute, where she urged the students to shun away from drugs. She also engaged with widows and people living with disabilities, facilitating them through different equipment. The Second Lady wrapped up her visit at Longisa Mountain of Prayer Centre, where she reminded women to join hands together in saving the boychild.