Herbal High

Collection with 17 media items created by U.S. Editor

12 May 2013 10:00

Khat, a stimulant similar to the coca leaf in South America, is heavily distributed within Nairobi, the largest city and capital of Kenya. It is cultivated in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh, a suburb of Naroibi, at 2 pm everyday. Khat is pre-ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on each sack, which local vendors then collect and sell to local chewers. Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant to Somalis who make up most of their customer base. Since it's an important cash crop for Kenyans and Ethiopians, Khat is a thriving business. It is now Ethiopia's second largest export behind coffee. Though khat has been banned by the US and other European countries, it remains legal in the UK and is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

Khat Qat Chew Stimulant Drugs Drug Use Herbal Drugs Herbal High Leaves Bundles Bunch Market Exports Vendors Customers Marketplace Somali Neigh... Uk Kenya Economy Health Sub Saharan ... Photo Collec... Photo Essay

Thumb sm
Herbal High (1 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
12 May 2013

A Kenyan packer prepares Khat for export to the UK. At this depot, 2,500 boxes of Khat worth 110 tonnes are put on flights to the UK every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. May, 2013.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (3 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
12 May 2013

Kenyans work at a Khat export depot in Eastleigh. Khat is wrapped in banana leaves and sent around the world. International distribution of Khat is worth millions and run by individual Somali-Kenyan multimillionaires.

For one bunch of the best quality khat is $40 which is often shared between two people. Although for a bag of just the leaves, it can be as cheap as $1 a bag.

Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant as Somalis are their biggest customers. “I live outside, not here. Khat is more of a Somali thing, but I have to chew to show people it is not a bad thing,” says a local Kenyan trader.

Khat is also distributed within Nairobi. It is farmed in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh at 2pm everyday. It is preordered and bundled with the customers name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell to local chewers.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the UK reports that more than 2,500 tonnes, worth about £13.8m, was imported by the UK in 2011/12, bringing in £2.8m of tax revenues. Khat is still legal in the UK, even though it has been banned by the US and other European countries. Khat is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (4 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
12 May 2013

Known as "Little Mogadishu", Eastleigh is a Somali residential area in Nairobi. It is characterized by treacherous roads, sporadic grenade explosions and cheap goods.

For one bunch of the best quality khat is $40 which is often shared between two people. Although for a bag of just the leaves, it can be as cheap as $1 a bag.

Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant as Somalis are their biggest customers. “I live outside, not here. Khat is more of a Somali thing, but I have to chew to show people it is not a bad thing,” says a local Kenyan trader.

Khat is also distributed within Nairobi. It is farmed in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh at 2pm everyday. It is preordered and bundled with the customers name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell to local chewers.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the UK reports that more than 2,500 tonnes, worth about £13.8m, was imported by the UK in 2011/12, bringing in £2.8m of tax revenues. Khat is still legal in the UK, even though it has been banned by the US and other European countries. Khat is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (5 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
12 May 2013

Liban Olow chewed Khat everyday for 30 years. "I began to lose my memory. I sometimes forgot the names of my own children. When you chew, your priority is not providing food for your family. I used to chew and stay awake for 72 hours. if we ban Khat, then we would have a working nation, rather than a sleeping nation."

For one bunch of the best quality khat is $40 which is often shared between two people. Although for a bag of just the leaves, it can be as cheap as $1 a bag.

Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant as Somalis are their biggest customers. “I live outside, not here. Khat is more of a Somali thing, but I have to chew to show people it is not a bad thing,” says a local Kenyan trader.

Khat is also distributed within Nairobi. It is farmed in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh at 2pm everyday. It is preordered and bundled with the customers name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell to local chewers.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the UK reports that more than 2,500 tonnes, worth about £13.8m, was imported by the UK in 2011/12, bringing in £2.8m of tax revenues. Khat is still legal in the UK, even though it has been banned by the US and other European countries. Khat is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (6 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Mar 2013

For one bunch of the best quality khat is $40 which is often shared between two people. Although for a bag of just the leaves, it can be as cheap as $1 a bag. Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant as Somalis are their biggest customers. “I live outside, not here. Khat is more of a Somali thing, but I have to chew to show people it is not a bad thing,” says a local Kenyan trader.
Khat is also distributed within Nairobi. It is farmed in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh at 2pm everyday. It is preordered and bundled with the customers name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell to local chewers. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the UK reports that more than 2,500 tonnes, worth about £13.8m, was imported by the UK in 2011/12, bringing in £2.8m of tax revenues. Khat is still legal in the UK, even though it has been banned by the US and other European countries. Khat is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (7 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Mar 2013

Sacks of khat arrive to Eastleigh at 2pm on a daily basis. The shrub and is ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell them to local chewers. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (8 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Mar 2013

A group of men deliver preordered parcels of khat in Eastleigh daily. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (9 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Mar 2013

Sacks of khat arrive to Eastleigh at 2pm on a daily basis. The shrub and is ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell them to local chewers. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (10 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
10 Mar 2013

Khat is sold for relatively cheap prices. One bunch of the best quality khat which is often shared between two people costs $40. A bag of just the leaves can be as cheap as $1 a bag. Sacks of khat arrive to Eastleigh at 2pm on a daily basis. The shrub and is ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell them to local chewers. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (11 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
17 Jun 2011

Eastleigh is a densely populated Somali neighbourhood in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an economic hub for cheap goods and rumored to be a safe haven for militia group Al Shabaab, whose activities have been funded by the khat trade. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. June, 2011.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (12 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Mar 2013

Eastleigh resident Mohammed chews khat daily. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (13 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
09 Jun 2013

Kenyan packer boxing khat in a warehouse in Kenya's Somali district, Eastleigh

Thumb sm
Herbal High (14 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
09 Jun 2013

Somali families monopolise the export of khat to Europe in Kenya. They create links with Somalis in UK and send initial supplies based on trust.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (15 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
19 May 2013

20 boxes loaded with khat are ready to be sent to the UK

Thumb sm
Herbal High (16 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
19 May 2013

A young Kenyan carries boxes of khat to a large truck headed for Nairobi's biggest airport. Four days a week, shipments of khat are sent to the UK for Somali diaspora communities. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. May, 2013.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (17 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
19 May 2013

Kenyan labourers package khat for the UK. Somalis own the export business, but Kenyans are used as cheap labour.

Thumb sm
Herbal High (18 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
26 May 2013

Kenyan labourers pack bunches of khat into banana leaves so they can be shipped to the UK. Sacks of khat arrive to Eastleigh at 2pm on a daily basis. The shrub and is ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell them to local chewers. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. May, 2013.