By Maryanne Hanette
In Bougainville, especially North specifically in the Haku constituency, consumption of homebrew and marijuana is at high rate and is creating negative outcomes for the local community
This is a serious topic of discussion today for the people of this area because of the way youths and school age youths are behaving towards the society today.
There has been an upsurge of youth consumption of drugs by 50% compared to previous years.
This issue has been an on-going issue. It has led to aggressive behaviours by youths in the communities and students’ unacceptable practices in the constituency, including fighting among students, rape cases and murder.
For the school age youths of this area it has affected their academic performance. Grades have dropped to a very low level in school as a result of the high rate of absenteeism in class.
Mr Martin Takali, Principal at Hutjena Seconday School, explained that each year two to three students are expelled from school and sent home.
“Majority of the students consuming marijuana at Hutjena Secondary are students from Haku”, said Mr Takali.
Few students in this area further their education at tertiary institutions, with many exiting after grade 10 or 12.
Though there is a good number of the population are well educated there is still many of them roaming around in the village doing nothing.
Youths and students of this area take part in homebrew and marijuana consumption because no one goes there to educate them at a high standard and to their level about drug and its impacts
Many of them have their own reasons as to why they are consuming homebrew and marijuana, but the responsibility lies within the parents and the elders or chiefs in the village.
If the environment is full of these types of activities, like homebrew produced right in the village and selling of marijuana, then students or youths will never say no in consuming drugs because it is right in front of their eyes.