Government mulls building drugs rehab centre in Cowdray Park

Source: The Chronicle – Breaking news

Ashley Phiri, ashleyphiri66@gmail.com

THE Ministry of Local Government and Public Works has set aside land for the construction of a rehabilitation centre for drug and substance abusers in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb. 

Permanent Secretary for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Paul Nyoni, said the initiative is part of Government efforts in the fight against drug and substance abuse, which is wreaking havoc in the country. 

He was speaking during the launch of the cycling campaign against drug and substance abuse 2024, an event that is the brainchild of Bulawayo South Legislator, Cde Raj Modi at the Bulawayo City Hall yesterday. 

The event will see about 17 cyclists cycling about 500km from Bulawayo to Harare. On their way, the cyclists will raise awareness on the effects of drug and substance abuse.

Drug and substance abuse is increasingly becoming a peace and security threat with most of the affected young people being involved in violent activities that threaten social harmony.

Government established the National Committee on Drugs and Substance Abuse to address the widespread abuse of drugs in communities.

 “One of the measures that we have undertaken as a ministry is the provision of halfway houses. We already have one at Robert Tredgold Building and we hope it will help ease the burden on institutions like Ingutsheni Central Hospital, which is the country’s major institution providing rehabilitation services,” said Mr Nyoni.

Ingutsheni Psychiatric Central Hospital

“We are planning to build another rehabilitation centre in Cowdray Park suburb.”

Mr Nyoni also said the Government has roped in churches in the fight against drug and substance abuse.

 “One of the other things that we have done is engaging churches to use their buildings as counselling centres for drug and substance abusers. We have also moved to capacitate Mpilo Central Hospital so that it also offers rehabilitation services,” said Mr Nyoni. 

Young people constitute the majority of drug and substance users and concerns have been raised that some of them were even abusing unconventional drugs including fluorescent lamp powder and elements from diapers. 

Government has declared drug and substance abuse a national threat and has since established a technical committee to address the scourge. 

Police arrested over 6 000 drug peddlers across the country between January and April as part of the response against drug and substance abuse. Government last month approved the principles for the enactment of the Zimbabwe Drug and Substance Agency Bill.

The Bill paves the way for the establishment of an additional Security Service and specialised Drug and Substance Elimination Agency/National Drug Agency. 

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