31 Aug 2010

Jobs and opportunity the solution to Bougainville marijuana problem

4:43 pm on 31 August 2010

The head of an NGO in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, says rampant use of marijuana in the province is causing major problems.

Helen Hakena of the Leitana Nehan Women's Agency was speaking after the vice president, Patrick Nisira, called for community action to combat the use of the drug.

Mr Nisira says marijuana is the single biggest problem facing the province with up to 80 percent of people smoking it.

Ms Hakena agrees and says, coupled with homebrew alcohol, marijuana is at the root of much of the domestic violence in the province.

She says it grows easily and is sold at the road side by people with little else to sell.

Ms Hakena has called for more effort to go into finding work opportunities for the province's youth.

"You know small income generating projects may be the way forward for young people. Small income generating projects for women, maybe to curb the problem. People are doing that because there is nothing on the ground for them."