By NY Staff
The newly appointed minister of interior ordered a ban on the consumption of qat for police forces during their working hours. Qat is a mild stimulant which is consumed by large parts of the population for several hours. Many people in Yemen chew the leaves on a daily basis. The economic consequences of the habit are detrimental to the country’s development.
Not only does it drain Yemen’s already low water reserves, but the working hours lost to the habit have an overall negative impact on working times. Besides its health risks, the consumption of qat also has consequences for family life. Many prioritize buying the drug over buying food or other supplies for their families.
The ban on qat issued by the Ministry of Interior is a victory for civil society actor’s who have long advocated in favor of the prohibition. Since the 2011 popular uprising in Yemen, various civic organizations led campaigns against the practice in general. But other types of civil society organizations also had an impact on the new policy. Marie-Christine Heinze, a consultant for the Yemen Polling Center commented.