KILIMANJARO :THE Drug Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) management has vowed to continue providing education on effects of illicit drugs to the society as efforts to fight the menace.
This was said by the DCEA Commissioner for Prevention and Treatment Dr Peter Mfisi during a special public education bonanza that was held at Himo Police grounds, in Moshi, Kilimanjaro.
The bonanza involved residents and students from various schools from Moshi District.
“This education campaign is very important especially for young people who are still pursuing their education in different levels of studies,” he said.
“Different researches have revealed that most of the illicit drugs victims are at the school level, because they lacked early education about the side effects of illicit drugs,” said Dr Mfisi who represented DCEA Commissioner General Mr Aretas Lyimo at the event.
He added; “the education provided to them through such programme which was established by the DCEA, will help young people to have an early understanding of the effects of illicit drugs and thus abstain from their use, which will lead the country to avoid the challenge of illicit drugs addicts in the future.”
Presenting the information of the Police Force related to fighting against the illegal trade and the usage of illicit drugs, the Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander (RPC) Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Simon Maigwa said that the Police Force has been continuing with various operations meant to control the challenge.
”Between January and July, 2023, a total of 282 suspects were arrested in relation to suspicions related to the illicit drugs issues; during that period there were a total of 246 cases that were being conducted and which had reached various stages of hearing,” he said.
He said during that period, a total of 212 acres of marijuana were destroyed and that a total of 135 suspects were arrested on suspicion of possessing opium contrary to the law and that a total of 14 people were arrested on suspicion of possessing heroin.
Speaking about the challenges that the police force faced during the operations, RPC Maigwa said that it included that of more than 200 illegal routes popularly known as panya routes along the Tanzania-Kenya border which he said most of those were being used by illicit drug dealers especially during night hours.
During the occasion, the Head of the Traditional Chiefs in Kilimanjaro Mr Frank Marealle, handed over the traditional tools; spear, mace and a shield to the DCEA Commissioner General Mr Aretas Lyimo to strengthen him (Lyimo) during his daily activities in the fight against illegal drugs business in the country.