Heroin is now a major urban development challenge in Africa
Africa’s east coast was for decades a secondary route for the international heroin trade, with its long coastline providing safe landing sites for Afghan heroin destined for markets in Europe and North America. The African route became more important as Middle East conflict and better enforcement shut down traditional access to Europe.
Heroin then began to leak into African markets and a significant amount is now traded and consumed locally, with devastating impact. The United Nations estimates that 20 to 40 tons of heroin enter Africa annually, but the actual amount may be much higher. Accurate figures are hard to determine.