Lamu residents decry increase in drinking dens around schools


Lamu,KENYA: Lamu residents want all drinking dens operating close to schools either closed down or moved further away from the learning institutions.

Residents of Wiyoni, Hidabo and Mararani areas in Lamu island said there is an increased number of drinking dens sprouting up close to schools and homes in their areas.

Speaking in Lamu on Tuesday, the residents said students in the affected schools can no longer concentrate in class following the loud noises and constant fights among drunkards visiting the dens.

They said they also have no peace in their homes as they have to withstand the constant loud noises from drunkards.

Halima Athman of Wiyoni appealed to the county administration to have all such dens demolished or moved elsewhere far away from schools and homes.

Many residents and students in the affected schools are said to fear for their lives following the increased number of drunkards who keep loitering aimlessly the areas and bushes once their drinking sprees are over.

“Wiyoni area alone has over eight drinking dens that are located close to the primary and secondary schools here not to mention homes.Many times the students have to keep peeping outside to witness the constant fights between drunkards.They can’t concentrate. We can’t also have peace in our homes because of them too,” said Halima.

The dens are also said to be notorious drug dens that target school children as hawkers of the substances.

Husna Yusuf of Mararani area said it’s a known fact that bhang and cocaine are sold in the dens and that students are sometimes targeted to peddle the drugs to colleagues.

Residents say the situation has led to increased unruliness amongst students who end up using such drugs or even indulge in alcohol.

“These dens are doing so many businesses at the same time.Apart from alcohol, they also sell drugs and also conduct prostitution.We know this because they are just a stone throw away from our homes.The worst of it all is that they target school children either as clients or hawkers to peddle drugs for them.That’s why we want them demolished.Students in the affected schools are so unruly,” said Husna.

Granton Hinzano, a parent from Hidabo area called on the county government to formulate laws that will regulate alcohol sale and use in the county.

“For instance, we need laws prohibiting the establishment of such dens close to learning institutions and homes.Such will restore sanity here,” said Hinzano.