Empowering Women of Faith to Combat Drug Abuse in Mombasa


Mombasa is Kenya’s second largest city and East Africa’s largest port city, quickly evolving into a major international heroin transit hub with upwards of 40 tons of narcotics estimated to flow through it each year. Women and girls are especially affected by the drug scourge both as victims and casualties. Drug abuse is on the rise with little to no attention from both the citizens and authorities, including the religious community. According to the anti-drug agency, the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), more than 60,000 people are addicted to hard drugs at the Coast. With this, the spread of HIV/AIDS infection among drug users is on the rise. The objective of this study is to determine how women of faith could offer a lasting solution to the drug menace. Islamic and Christian norms are an important motivating factor and a practical tool that motivate women of faith to engage in an important fight against drug abuse in Mombasa. Despite the rhetoric from Kenyan political leaders to address this menace, there is a lack of action in the form of high-level prosecutions or interdiction. Arrests of high level drug peddlers rarely lead to convictions. Lack of adequate early awareness on the effects of drug abuse and unemployment mainly contribute to the prevalence. With inadequate political leadership in addressing the matter, the potential role of religious women in combatting drug abuse is crucial. Religious actors such as the Kenya Muslim National Advisory Council, clergy and lay leaders have united to educate and support heroin and cocaine addicts. There are indications that faith interventions are resulting in reduced drug use in Mombasa, but the problem requires a sustained response. Religious women have a vital role in highlighting the moral and spiritual prerequisite for effective social action. Currently, public awareness of the effects of drug abuse remain relatively low. Key recommendations in this project include an interfaith anti-drug addiction guide to empower religious women to encourage and connect drug addicts through their spirituality, walk together to recovery, and stop and prevent the spread of drug abuse.

Read or download full paper:

Kang’ee, Ednah (2015). Empowering Women of Faith to Combat Drug Abuse in Mombasa

Journal of Living Together, 2-3 (1), pp. 171-200, 2015, ISSN: 2373-6615 (Print); 2373-6631 (Online).

Title = {Empowering Women of Faith to Combat Drug Abuse in Mombasa}
Author = {Ednah Kang’ee}
Url = {https://icermediation.org/drug-abuse-in-mombasa/}
ISSN = {2373-6615 (Print); 2373-6631 (Online)}
Year = {2015}
Date = {2015-12-18}
IssueTitle = {Faith Based Conflict Resolution: Exploring the Shared Values in the Abrahamic Religious Traditions}
Journal = {Journal of Living Together}
Volume = {2-3}
Number = {1}
Pages = {171-200}
Publisher = {International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation}
Address = {Mount Vernon, New York}
Edition = {2016}.


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