Tackling Underage Drinking in Murang’a and Kajiado Counties: An Urgent Call to Action

The issue of underage drinking is reaching alarming proportions in Murang’a and Kajiado counties, as evidenced by the statistics presented in a recent study by Kenyatta Univesity . This blog post aims to shed light on the socio-demographic factors contributing to this concerning trend and emphasizes the immediate need for effective interventions. By understanding the data and collaborating as a community, we can work towards safeguarding our youth from the dangers of alcohol abuse.

  1. Alarming Proliferation: The data reveals that alcohol selling outlets are abundant, with Murang’a County having a prevalence of 37.64% and Kajiado County with 35.59%. This easy access to alcohol is a major contributor to the current alcohol use among underage students, standing at 36.99% overall.
  2. Strengthening Alcohol Laws: In both counties, poor enforcement of alcohol laws has led to a higher prevalence of underage drinking. However, there is hope for improvement if we act swiftly. In Murang’a County, 44.09% of male students reported current alcohol use, while in Kajiado County, the percentage is 42.29%.
  3. Gender and Religious Influence: Among the male students, the data shows that 39.9% of Christian students and 29.4% of Muslim students are current alcohol users. This highlights the importance of tailoring preventive measures that address religious and gender-based patterns of alcohol consumption.
  4. Vulnerable Outlets: A significant amount of the alcoholic beverages consumed by the respondents were obtained from clubs, with 37% from Murang’a County and 26.4% from Kajiado County. Additionally, liquor stores played a role in facilitating alcohol access, contributing to 42.1% in Murang’a and 21.1% in Kajiado.
  5. Identifying High-Risk Factors: Current alcohol consumption is positively associated with psychosocial distress symptoms, as reported by 37% of current drinkers. Other contributing factors include cigarette/marijuana smoking (43.5%), multiple sexual partners (26.3%), and lack of parental supervision (73.7%).

Conclusion: The statistics provided in this blog post underscore the urgent need to address underage drinking in Murang’a and Kajiado counties. With 36.99% of underage students currently using alcohol, it is evident that decisive action is required.

To combat this issue effectively, we must focus on strict enforcement of alcohol laws, reducing the prevalence of alcohol selling outlets, and developing targeted prevention programs tailored to specific gender and religious groups. By educating our youth about the risks of alcohol consumption and empowering them to make informed choices, we can create a safer environment for their growth and development.

Together, let us unite as a community, involving policymakers, law enforcement, schools, parents, and community leaders to take a stand against underage drinking. By working collaboratively, we can protect the future of our youth and foster a healthy, vibrant society in Murang’a and Kajiado counties. The time to act is now.

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