Mombasa County has set aside Sh500 million for new drug rehabilitation centres.
Its budget estimates for the financial year 2013/2014, the county had earmarked the funds to fight drug abuse which Governor Ali Hassan Joho recently declared a disaster.
The governor said it was alarming that the Coast region had 60,000 drug addicts, many of them residents of Mombasa County.
Mr Joho explained that part of the funds would be used for the construction of rehabilitation centres.
He noted that a rehabilitation centre for women would be a priority since the county had such institutions for men only. â€œIt is alarming that Coast region has 60,000 drug addicts with most of them being in my county.
â€œThis has prompted me to earmark Sh500 million to help address the menace,â€ he said, adding that part of the funds would be used for anti-drug awareness campaigns.
National Agency for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) director Sheikh Juma Ngao said a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime showed that the county had 26,000 injection drug users.
He noted that 24,000 of them used heroin while the rest used cocaine, cannabis sativa (bhang), among others.
Sheikh Ngao supported the governor for setting aside Sh500 million for the anti-drug campaign.
â€œI am glad that the Mombasa governor has budgeted funds for the war against drug abuse as the county is the most affected in the region,â€ he said.
â€œThere is need for rehabilitation centres to cater for both men and women as local hospitals can only accommodate a few drug addicts,â€ he explained.
Sheikh Ngao said he recently visited a rehabilitation centre in Galilee, Israel, which had the capacity to treat 1,000 drug addicts a year and urged the county government officials to borrow a leaf from the Middle East country.