Chewing themselves into madness? This mild narcotic plant may generate substantial amount of revenue to the governments, but it also disrupts people’s lives.
By Chuko and Mama | The Economist,
“This is Khat,” explains Teklu Kaimo, gesturing to the wooded field behind him. He started growing it in 1976, and over the years its soft, green leaves have brought him a measure of prosperity. He has a modest plot of land, 11 children and money to pay their way through school.
A short walk down the hill, the central marketplace of this part of southern Ethiopia comes alive with farmers, merchants and salesmen as the sun sets. Young men sprint down streets with bundles of fresh qat leaves on their shoulders, as traders call out prices and haul the bags aboard lorries. They are bound for Addis Ababa, the capital, where the following morning they will be sold to khat-chewers in the city, or packed onto planes bound for neighbouring Djibouti and Somaliland. Continue reading A Khat Boom in Ethiopia and Kenya