Tags / Chewing Qat
In the UK, 90,000 people in the UK from east African and Yemeni communities chew khat. But on July 3, the UK banned the stimulant. Most of the khat comes from Kenya for £50 per box and now with the new ban, many local communities are worried about their livelihood.
Found on the Arabian Peninsula, the qat plant is commonly chewed for its stimulant effects and was determined by the World Health Organization to be a drug of abuse for causing moderate psychological dependency. Widely used in Yemen, children are increasingly starting to chew qat at a young age, threatening their education and the health and economic vitality of the country.
The plant is accused of "Destroying the future of Yemen," in particular when children begin chewing it at an early age. Children as young as 8 years old become addicted to the stimulant, often with the consent of parents or guardians. It's a common belief, advocated by fathers, that chewing qat is a sign of adulthood and wisdom, and thus it's practiced at weddings at funerals.
The economic crisis in Yemen has pushed children to work, and some choose to plant qat or sell it, often resulting in a discontinuation of their formal education.