Qat’s Enormous Cost [Archives:1998/35/Front Page]

August 31 1998

“Yemen Free of Qat”. Yes, that is the name of it. It is a new monthly newspaper, of which the first issue for July just came out. It is issued by the National Association to Combat the Damages of Qat.
The issue is full of statistics and information by specialists and experts which should convince any reasonable person to quit. The facts also show the enormous cost to the nation.
Look at the following facts.
1. The total expenditure on qat by consumers, on a low estimate basis, is about YR 36 billion every year, yielding a daily average of almost YR 100 million.
2. The total land area allocated for qat growing is about 100,000 hectares.
3. Of the farmers who grow qat today, 90% were growing something else in the 1970s.
4. The qat sector represents 39% of GDP.
5. About 55% of all the underground water extracted goes to qat fields.
6. Some 20 million man-hours are wasted daily on qat consumption.
7. Qat has serious detrimental effects on physical and psychological health, and on over-all well-being.
8. Qat has serious detrimental effects on familial relations and social harmony.
9. Qat has serious detrimental effects on law and order as addicted persons behave erratically and irrationally to meet their “needs”.
If you want to get help, write to POB 12484, Sanaa; or call tele/fax: (01) 240-148.