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Covid-19: Nacada partners with Kara to heighten surveillance on bars

The National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) has partnered with the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (Kara) to enhance compliance on alcohol sale guidelines issued by the government to tame the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nacada chief executive officer Victor Okioma says the pandemic has presented the agency with challenges on enforcing the regulations but the agreement with Kara gives hope of success in the execution of its mandate.

“We are leveraging on the networks by Kara to ensure that we create avenues through which information will be shared amongst ourselves for the mutual benefit of both the organizations and the public,” Okioma said.

“In this connection, our partnership will among others; sensitise resident associations to implement awareness and prevention programmes on alcohol and drug abuse, engage the resident associations to identify and report on bars operating in residential areas.”

The Mihadarati Awards for resident associations is among initiatives that Nacada is using to scale down disobedience to alcohol consumption as a measure issued by the Ministry of Health for prevention of Covid-19.

“For a start, we want to reach out to our stakeholders by anchoring on Kara structures especially given the ban on sale of alcohol in eateries and other public places,” Okioma said.

Kara boss Henry Ochieng said there was need to ensure residential areas are not turned into alcohol hubs after the closure of bars in a ban announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta to prevent reckless partying.

“We are keen to join hands with Nacada to ensure that the guidelines are complied with and also support resident associations to be able to monitor and take appropriate action against individuals who may flout the guidelines in their neighbourhoods,” Ochieng stated.

“We also want to ensure that the residents understand their roles and responsibilities in the whole legal framework of drugs and alcohol control and are able to proactively prevent mushrooming of bars and liquor stores in residential areas.”

Nacada has been organising sensitisation awareness campaigns targeting families, workplaces, schools and communities for training on complications of alcohol and drug abuse which Okioma said have suffered a blow due to social distancing requirements.