Ali: Chamber raises concern on glue sniffing

The EU funded Rewa Bridge, Nausori, the hotspot for alcohol consumption, glue sniffing and drug use by youths at night. Picture: ATU RASEA

Some members of the Nausori Chamber of Commerce (NCC) claim they have raised the glue sniffing issue with the relevant authorities to no avail.

Executive member Ishad Ali said they had suggested some form of control be placed on the sale of glue.

“We had raised this issue during our meetings with Commissioner Central but it has stayed there,” Mr Ali claimed.

“It’s being sold in timber and hardware shops and even the smaller shops are selling it.

“It is readily available out there.”

A Nausori resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the increase in rural-urban migration had contributed to the issue.

“We must also focus on why we have so many youths who are coming to town,” he said.

“What is happening in the traditional and cultural level.”

He lauded the approach taken by newly-appointed Eastern Division Police director SSP Wate Vocevoce.

“We can see him walking around town, sometimes he and his driver walk around town at night, checking all the places and making sure everything is all right.”

The resident claimed selling glue “has become a profitable thing” and many small shops were trading in it.

“It’s cheap and there is no monitoring of its sale so anyone can buy it.” He claimed he was outside a hardware shop once and saw two “ragged looking” boys enter into it and he immediately assumed that they were going to shoplift. However, he said when they emerged, they came out with tins of glue.

“Some of these boys, what they do, they buy bigger tins so you can go to them, give money, and they’ll refill your bottle of glue for you.”

A businessman, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said from 2011 to 2014, he used to confiscate five to eight cans of glue a day from youths, some were from school-age young people.

Attempts to obtain comments from Commissioner Central Josefa Navuku last week and yesterday remained unsuccessful when this story went to print.

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