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A social athlete and activist against the use of harmful drugs has called for a coordinated effort to stop drug abuse in Namibia.

Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (nbc) employee Martha Namhadi says the fight against drug abuse should be a collective one. Namhadi spoke to nbc News after participating in the 10-kilometre FNB/Seawork Marathon at Swakopmund. The seasonal marathon runner says rooting out drug abuse requires a collective effort from individuals, families, communities, and organisations.

She participated in the marathon wearing a poster advocating against drug use and its negative impact on society.

"So we don't need to be rich in order to make a difference in people's lives or to change your neighbour's life or the lives of people in your community. We just need to come together, and drugs cannot be a one-man 'fight; we all need to come together and fight these drugs that are destroying young people, and it's preventing young people from achieving their dreams. I am here today to raise awareness among the communities that drugs are not good; they do not solve problems; they just make whatever you are going through worse."

Namhadi, founder of the nonprofit organisation Fighting Against Drug Use in Villages, was cheered on by spectators as she took long strides to the finish line. She says that despite challenging wind conditions, aggravated by hoisting her poster, she was happy to have delivered her message and created awareness in her community.

The police in the Erongo Region recently confiscated drugs valued at more than N$1 million in two separate incidents, underscoring the fact that Namibia is not just a transit country but a well-served market for hard drugs. Graphics designers AM Designs sponsored the poster adorned by Namhadi, calling on other stakeholders to come on board and support initiatives aimed at eliminating drugs.

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Isdor Shilongo