The use of hard drugs, especially heroin has been on a sharp increase in coast region the past five years, especially in Lamu County. 

This has been revealed by the National Authority for Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), which said that 2.3 per cent of people living at the Coast are heroin users.  

According to NACADA, the said drugs are largely found in Mombasa, Kwale, Lamu and Kilifi Counties. 

George Karisa, the Authority’s Coast Branch Secretary also noted that the region was also facing a huge problem of an increase in the use of prescription drugs and sleeping pills. 

Karisa also said Kilifi leads in alcohol use followed by Mombasa, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Kwale and Tana River counties, with more men drinking alcohol at 19.4 per cent compared to women at 3.9 percent. 

He revealed that mnazi, the local traditional liquor, topped the list of alcoholic beverages which are being consumed at the Coast, followed by packaged alcoholic drinks, chang’aa and second-generation alcohol. 

An investigative piece by France 24 TV in 2019 revealed that Mombasa was a major drug trafficking hub and route for smuggling of heroin and cocaine destined for European countries.

The report exposed how heroin and cocaine from Asia and Latin America transited through the Mombasa port before being smuggled on into Europe and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

It also showed that most heroin reaches the port via ships from Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.