The police have tried their best to curtail such criminal activities but communities seem to condone such criminal gangs because most hail from homes where parents do not care about the progress of their children. Some people have opined that the people need to have a research unit to understand the cause of this new form of violence while others have suggested that the prevalence of drugs and its abuse by young people should not be overlooked.
Based on the severity of this problem, the Government of Sierra Leone established national institutions to deal with issues of drugs, trafficking, and other crimes leading to violence and instability in the country.
Despite this move, the prevalence of drugs in the country is obviously true. The outrageous presence of ‘ghettos’ and other drug dens around the city including public venues lend credence to this scenario. This and other reasons certainly suggest the urgent need to put in place solid structures to effectively and robustly address drug abuse in the country.
Reports from different institutions indicate that the rise in drug trafficking, including local drug production and consumption, is fast becoming a mighty adversary to overcome in the quest of peace, stability and security in a peace consolidating nation like Sierra Leone.
One member of the Constitutional Review Committee said the lack of employment opportunities is a legitimate source of reliable income put youths in a precarious positions where they may be vulnerable to involve in the drug-trade and drug use itself.
During the last general elections President Ernest Bai Koroma once vowed to “nurture an empowered the youth population that can lead to a change in the destiny of Sierra Leone”. Has the President worked genuinely towards that direction or was it a political gimmick for his re-election bid?
The youths were and are still suffering. To add insult to injury, some have drop out from their job and those who have graduated over four years are jobless and roving around the street like a dog without an owner.
Before the outbreak of the dreaded Ebola virus, about 60 percent of young women and men between the ages of 15 to 35 were unemployed, which is the highest in the West Africa region.
According to a 2013 Youth Report, “Sierra Leone has among the fastest growing number of young workers living on less than one dollar a day and about 80 percent of the country’s youth population are unable to earn enough to take care of themselves and their families above the US$2 per day poverty level.
Less than 50 percent of young workers in Sierra Leone receive payment for their labor, compared to two thirds of adults. In addition, most private companies pay between US$30 to 37 per month as a basic salary, reaching US$58 to 70 at the top supervisory levels.”
According the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report unemployment and marginalization of youth were the major reason for the eleven years brutal civil war, hence recommending an annual “Status of The Youth Report” to tackle the issue which is not seemingly practicable and therefore it is the duty of the present APC government to go by the recommendations of the TRC to avoid a repeat of the past.