Issue Two: KHAT ADDICTION
This report focusses on an issue considered by many to be too hard to touch at the beginning of CSSP. Yet the programme continued to encourage CSOs to experiment with approaches to tackling khat use and abuse from which wider learning could be drawn. Three organisations, in different parts of the country, took up the challenge and developed a range of approaches for tackling the dimensions of khat use and abuse which appeared most relevant to them. CSSP then invited a fourth CSO with a research background to track the experience of these organisations. This then enabled CSSP partners to offer important inputs to the April 2016 Tobacco and other substance abuse conference, held in Addis Ababa. For the first time, a much deeper analysis of the phenomenon of growing khat supply and demand and its impact on different parts of Ethiopian society has emerged – and the issue is now firmly on the agenda of many more actors than was the case in 2011.
The challenges remain deep however, and the government and civil society will continue to need to draw on experience of drug management strategies in other parts of the world in order to identify the right strategies for Ethiopia. During the extension phase, CSSP will be digging deeper into this issue also.