County Secretary Paul Chemmuttut today hosted a high level delegation from NACADA led by the Agency Chairman Reverend Stephen Mairori.
The team, which also included CEO Victor Okioma and Board Member Elijah Lagat, commended Elgeyo Marakwet County for being a leader in the fight against alcoholism.
“You used to be among the highest in alcohol abuse prevalence but your concerted efforts now make you a leader worth emulating by other counties,” said Rev. Mairori.
The official said the efforts had made NACADA fund the establishment of a rehabilitation center in Iten worth Ksh 9.8 million.
“We are happy you have already operationalized the center and you are helping those willing to abandon the vice. We will continue supporting you,” said Rev. Mairori.
Chemmuttut hailed the collaboration between the County and NACADA and other partners like the Empowering Lives International (ELI) saying it had helped drastically bring down cases of alcoholism in the County.
“Out of this collaboration many of our residents are now coming out to willingly request to be rehabilitated so that they can be useful to society,” he said.
He reiterated the commitment of H.E Governor Wisley Rotich to the continued rehabilitation of alcohol and drug abuse in the County.
“As you may be aware the Governor has initiated alot of economic empowerment programs that seek to give opportunities to locals, to avoid people losing hope and resorting to alcoholism,” said the CS.
Also present was CEC Monicah Rotich who requested NACADA for support in expanding the rehabilitation center.
“As we speak we have male and female patients sharing one wing. If we can separate them, it would be ideal,” she said.
The CEO said NACADA would consider the request and asked the County to ring fence funds raised during licensing of bars and plough them back to rehabilitation efforts and sensitisation against harmful effects of alcohol and drug abuse.
County Commissioner John Korir pledged the national government support in collaboration to end the vice in Elgeyo Marakwet.
“We have been working very well here in an all government approach to this vice and we will continue that way until this County is declared alcohol and drug free. We are that committed,” he said.
The delegation also visited the rehabilitation center to check on it’s operations.
Also in attendance were other NACADA and ELI officials as well as County and National Government senior staff.