BAMYAN CITY: Top counternarcotics official in central Bamyan province says almost 14 per cent of the province’s residents including hundreds of children are addicted to drugs.
Hussain Agha Nazari, counternarcotics director for Bamyan province, says though the province is poppy-free, yet the main highway remains ‘a safe way’ to transport drugs.
He said most of the drug users existed in Waras district where even women and children have been peddling drugs.
“Most of the families in Shewqal area of Waras district are addicted to drugs and their children and women are also consuming drugs,” he added.
Nazari cited reports that said schoolteachers and even clerics used drugs in the certain area. About 700 children were also addicted and their number was surging with each passing day, the counter-narcotics director claimed.
“The drugs are transferred from Meramor district in central Daikundi province to Samangan through Waras, Panjab and Yakawlang districts and Shewqal area is located near the drugs market”, he explained.
Without giving exact figures for the addicts, the official estimated that about 14 per cent of Bamyam population had slipped into addiction.
Based on 2018 statistics, the population of Bamyan province is around 47, 8423 individuals and 14 per cent of them means about 67, 000 people.
There are two 20-bed addicts rehabilitation hospitals in Bamyan, which could not cope with the situation, provincial counternarcotics officials said.
They said at least each district of the province should have one clinic for treatment of addicts and the provincial capital also needed a 100-bed hospital.
Mohammad Jan, a resident of Waras district, said he was consuming opium for the past five years and during this period all his family members became addicts.
“Because I would give a little opium to my family members whenever they would fall ill,” said Jan, who initially consumed opium outside home but later brought the habit home. “After one year of this, all my family members became addicts.”
Hawa Seddiqui, human rights director for Bamyan, also expressed her deep concern over the smuggling of drugs to the province.
She said their survey showed most of a family members or all were addicts in some districts because of their men’s addiction.
She said Bamyan lacked enough treatment facilities for addicts particularly for women and children.
Counternarcotics officials accuse police of having failed to curb drugs smuggling into Bamyan.
However, deputy police chief Hamidullah Liaqat said the counternarcotics department was created last year and has only four or five workers who could not control drug trafficking.
“I admit that the number of addicts in Bamyan is increasing day by day, but we need a regular drug control organization that the Interior Ministry will decide on.”
He said despite personnel shortage the Bamiyan command had been able to control several of its routes and prevent drug trafficking.