The Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou has warned the youth of Tunuloa and Natewa districts in Cakaudrove on the legal and health dangers of marijuana.
?Cultivating and selling marijuana is not a solution to prosperity,? the Hon. Tuitubou said while speaking to the youth of the two districts in Wailevu village in Tunuloa this week.
In response to recent cases where authorities uprooted large amounts of marijuana plants in the North, the Minister said those youth engaged in this practice should look at alternative sources of income. The Minister pointed out that various income generating opportunities can be initiated through his Ministry for the youth of the North.
?The Ministry will bring several trainings to your districts next month such as mobile skills training including small engine repairs, financial literacy, KAB or Know About Business and a packaged empowerment training for youths.?
?This is to ensure that youths are empowered to find secured alternatives to drugs and really come out from depending on it as a form of livelihood?, the Minister said.
Tunuloa district crime prevention committee member Iowane Savenaca said; ?I acknowledge the Minister?s visit today. The Ministry should pay regular visits and?provide?mentoring to compliment the efforts of the community in trying to deter young people from drugs,? said Savenaca.
?We are doing what we can in providing advice and we seek the Ministry?s assistance to bolster our efforts by providing the tools and other services to keep the youth busy especially in sports activities,? he added.
While Natewa and Tunuloa are known for yaqona farming, there was a substantial amount of marijuana plants recently uprooted from a village in the area. The Minister said that income generating projects or assistance can be provided for the youth of these communities.
?The Ministry will ensure that we provide constant?mentoring and responses to requests so that the future of these areas and even the nation is secured when these young people are safe from all illicit activities,? the Minister said.
The Minister and senior officials are touring the northern division this week meeting with officials and communities relevant to his Ministerial portfolio.