OTJIWARONGO: Residents here are worried about the large number of youngsters smoking the hubbly bubbly, or okka pipe.
It also goes by the name hookah or waterpipe, and is a single or multi-stemmed instrument for smoking flavoured tobacco called molasse, in which the smoke is passed through a water basin – often glass-based – before inhalation.
The flavoured molasse tobacco is normally placed above the waterpipe, covered with a pierced foil with hot coals in order to burn the tobacco.
One or two smokers can smoke the pipe at the same time.
An 18-year-old youngster, who freely admitted that he is a hubbly bubbly addict, told Nampa on Wednesday that the water pipe relaxes his body. His name is being withheld to protect his identity.
Another 20-year-old said most youngsters around here are not satisfied with the molasse tobacco anymore, and have turned to using beer and marijuana, instead of water and the normal molasse tobacco.
Karundu Primary School principal Julius Nauyoma Neumbo told this agency that he suspects that some of his learners use the hubbly bubbly – sometimes on school premises.
“We are in a problem at our school, and the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) must intervene and start to control this hubbly bubbly thing,” said a worried Neumbo.
However, Otjozondjupa Regional Police Commander, Commissioner Joseph Anghuwo claimed not to have heard of the use of hubbly bubbly in his area of jurisdiction.
“It was never reported to my office, and I urge any community member with proof of those youngsters abusing that thing to come and report to my office,” charged Anghuwo.
Several shops here like Oxgen and Vimona Tobacco sell the flavoured molasse tobacco at N.dollars 25 each and hubbly bubbly pipes for between N.dollars 180 and N.dollars 400.