Drug abuse is not a new phenomenon with alcohol, tobacco and marijuana being the most used drugs
But in kasese, street children have found comfort in another dangerous substance, glue.
It is 6.00am the time street children on Stanley street, Kasese Municipality gather for what appears to be an informal meeting.
Some of them are taking puffs on cigarette while others are just idling around.
From here they set off for other streets and their destination is usually garbage heaps in search of food or plastic bottles which they later sell to earn a living.
With a few shillings in the pocket, they indulge in glue sniffing.
Residents here say these children sniff glue which they combine with petrol and shoe polish to give them long hours of blackouts and weak bodies.
They say the substance is the best distraction from the cold, hunger and fear.
Although some of them confessed they almost lost their lives and colleagues to sniffing the substance, it gives them the satisfaction they need.
Many of these purchase the substance from cobblers and shops. The glue is sold to the children in plastic bottles and costs Shs 1000.
This makes it more expensive than a small stick of marijuana which goes for Shs 500.
The shop owners were not willing to talk about the product on camera but confess the children often buy it.
By noon, some of the children have collected enough bottles for sale. Enough to get them some glue and are already intoxicated.
Every four plastic bottles earn them Shs 100.
It’s noon and I catch up with one Desmond who is still asleep because he took his dose late.
He said he starts sniffing the glue after 9.00PM because thats when that the number of cars in town have reduced.
He fears that if he took the substance much earlier than that, he risks being knocked by cars.
“The glue helps you forget a lot of things. Other take it for heights and others for confidence,” he said.
During the night, the children sniff their lives away while playing cards and waiting for shop owners to close so they can sleep on verandas.
Rwenzori East regional police commander, Vincent Twesigye, declined to talk about the menace.
Area leaders say the existence of the kids on the streets is disturbing, but the glue addition has made it a time bomb.
The challenge is even bigger in the areas of Nyakasanga and Kidodo.
Doctors say sniffing the substance could cause acute respiratory failure, brain damage, hallucinations and heart rhythm disturbances among others.