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Illicit Drugs Destroyed 

By Elvis Tah

The Southwest Regional Commission for the Fight Against Illegal Health Institutions Friday, May 28 burnt some drugs confiscated from illegal vendors. The Commission seized the drugs in Buea, Muea, Mutengene, Limbe and Batoke on Wednesday, May 26. According to the Social and Cultural Adviser at the Southwest Governor’s Office, Edwin Ngwana, the pile, with some empty containers, was estimated at FCFA 12 million.

Illicit drugs waiting to be burnt

He said the destruction was also in commemoration of the African Day for the Fight Against Illicit Sale of Drugs, which comes up every May 28. "The destruction of these drugs is very symbolic in that we are sending a message to the population that they should desist from buying drugs from roadside vendors who have very little mastery of the drugs," Ngwana said.

Asked to explain the empty containers, he said the illegal vendors devise new strategies everyday: "There are people who sell cosmetic products and at the same time, are illegal drug vendors. There are also some who hoard the drugs and simply fill their shops with empty cartoons and when clients come for the drugs, they go out and fetch it. So when the commission got to those shops, they seized everything including the empty containers and cartons," he said.

Ngwana said there is a dire need to educate the population about the dangers of these illegal drugs so that if they desist from buying them, the illegal vendors will automatically go out of the market. Throwing more light on the issue, the Southwest Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr. John Chuwanga, said it is important to stem the practice of illegal drug dealing because it is dangerous for the society when drugs are handled by people who have little knowledge about them.

He said some of the drugs seized were genuine ones but were in the hands of incompetent vendors, while others were expired and fake. On whether the burning of the drugs in the open air was not going to be harmful to the environment, he said the amount of toxic fumes from the burnt drugs poses no harm.

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