Anger as officers raid Gwassi Hills, destroy 50 acres of weed


Part of Gwassi Forest on Gwassi Hills in Sub Sub-county. (James Omoro, Standard).

Security officers have destroyed bhang that was being grown on more than 50 acres on Gwassi Hills in Homa Bay County.

County Commissioner Moses Lilan said criminals had taken advantage of the hills to grow cannabis sativa.

He said the bhang was grown with the intention of being sold in Homa Bay County and other parts of the country.

Lilan, who spoke at Papa Kalango Ground in Rangwe Sub-county, said the bhang was destroyed during a crackdown on the hills.

“We discovered that some criminals were growing bhang on Gwassi Hills. We launched a crackdown and destroyed all the bhang on more than 50 acres of land,” Lilan said.

The administrator said the land on which the criminals have been grown growing bhang will now be used for meaningful economic activities.

"We have ensured that the criminals do not have any space for growing bhang on the hills and any part of our county,” Lilan said.

Consumption of bhang has serious consequences on human health. They include depression, anxiety, psychosis, among other side effects.

“Bhang is very dangerous and impedes development of the people. We cannot allow anybody to grow, transport and consume bhang in the county,” Lilan said.

Lilan said they had intensified the fight against illicit drugs in the county.

He said they had also destroyed more than 60,000 liters of chang’aa and kangara in the recent crackdowns.

The crackdowns have also led to closure of 148 bars and other alcohol outlets in the county.

“We have also dealt with infiltration of contraband goods into our county through Lake Victoria. I am urging the people of Homa Bay to venture into economic activities which are legally acceptable," Lilan added. 

The crackdown was a major disruption of bhang supply as it affected the source where the narcotic weed is produced on large scale.

Bhang is an illegal narcotic drug in Kenya. The law statutes that anybody found guilty of possession, production, consumption and trafficking of bhang is liable for arrest and a jail term.

There are many people who have been arrested and charged in court for being in possession of bhang.

Despite the ban and punitive legal measures aimed at curbing consumption of bhang, many people still flout the law.

In South Nyanza region, most of the bhang traffickers are arrested on Isibania-Migori-Kisii road in Migori and Kisii counties.

Another road prone to bhang trafficking is Sori-Rodi Kopany road in Migori and Homa Bay counties.

The crackdown on Gwassi Hills in Suba Sub-county exposed the region as the hotbed of cannabis sativa.

Gwassi Hills comprises 24 hills and covers 37,233 hectares, where 4,841 hectares is under the gazetted forest that lies near Lake Victoria.

The topography of Gwassi Hills makes it a no-go zone for non-locals due to difficulties in climbing. The difficulties in accessing the hills had made criminals to take advantage to grow bhang.


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