10:30am to mother
It almost been 4years since I joined campus and throughout all these years lots of things have changed. One of the areas that is undergoing throughout dramatic change is the rise in the number of students who are becoming addicted to drugs. Just in front of mekelle main campus there used to be small shops and coffee houses before they became engulfed by new khat houses. The immergence of new khat houses is the first thing that captures your eyes in front of the main campus. The dramatic growth of addicted students has compelled the business sector to shift their business focus in opening more clubs, pubs and khat houses which are mainly being dominated by students.
One of the khat houses situated across the street in front of arid campus is called Mother. The owner of Mother khat house is an old lady, because of her grace and compassion towards her student customers named her house as Mother. Mother khat houses has two large rooms with the capacity to serve 15-20customers at a time, of which most of these customers are students.eventhough it is difficult for students to pay their daily drug consumption expense, mother is so compassionate towards her customers that she gives them credit to be paid when the students receive money from their family.
It’s only 10:30am in the morning when ‘mother’ starts her preparation to open her khat houses,her student customers sit on the porch wondering how they will cover their expense of the day while observing passersby in case they get lucky with a friends contribution.
At around 1:00pm ‘Mother’ becomes crowded with customers. Starting from 1:00pm until 7:30pm students will chew khat. during the duration of our stay in the khat house, some students study while others preferred to take themselves into a state of hallucination and others liked to discuss issues ranging from unfair treatment in campus to whether Osama Bin Laden death is being faked or not.
Just before 8:00pm ‘mother’ collects the bills from her customers while reminding her creditors to pay their bill so that she can operate smoothly for the next day.8:15pm just after the crowd dispersed from ‘Mother’, another journey will start to the liquor store and marijuana brokers.
Khat by its nature is stimulant as a result of this; people find it harder to sleep at night-unless they drink alcohol. Even though lack of money is one headache to student consumers it doesn’t stop them from consuming locally produced vodka which has high alcoholic content and is a risk to healt.the desperate need of meeting the financial demand of drug consumption is encouraging students to become involved in illegal activities such as stealing thing from their dorm mates and bargaining their own possessions.
So far, addicted students have been considered as a part of society who is better off with what they have. When teachers confront addicted students outside campus, their immediate reaction will be evoking the thought of hammering the student with their academic result rather than trying to approach and understand the student problem. In a university like mekelle which accommodates over 20,000 regular students and which is also considered as one of the top ranking universities across the nation, absence of established facilities that provide counseling and recreation is not an excusable act. If the university aims to achieve academic quality, then reducing the rate of drug addicts and eliminating factors that facilitate the growth of addiction should be given priority.
10:30am to mother