The Rwenzururu kingdom prime minister Noah Nzaghale has decried the high rate of alcohol consumption among the kingdom subjects.
While speaking at a sensitization meeting organized by save the children at Rwenzori international hotel in Kasese town on Friday 04, October 2015 Nzaghale said that the high rate of alcohol consumption has caused increment of mental illnesses cases and domestic violence among Bakonzo which has not been in history of Bakonzo.
Nzaghale added that what is worrying him is that the Bakonzo have learnt to spend their time in bars drinking alcohol all day from Morning to evening.
He blamed the increasing cases of domestic violence and mental illnesses to the high rate of alcohol consumption.
“We are grappling with high cases of domestic violence in homes and people running mad as a result of high rate of alcohol consumption and as a kingdom we have designed several interventions to address the concern,” said Nzaghale.
He said that several anti-alcoholism support groups have been established in the district to help in the recovery of a population blighted by a rise in alcoholics.
Musa Baluku the projects manager for save the children’s child and maternal health project said that most men have abandoned their families and they spend most of their productive time in bars drinking alcohol.
Musa said that the high levels of alcoholism in the district are having a negative impact on the economy of an already poor district.
“As save the children we have engaged religious, political, opinion and local musicians to champion the fight against cases of child and maternal health but the intervention of the men is very law because most of them don’t have time for their families they have turned bars into their homes,” said Musa.
Francis Mugisa a community worker in Karusandara Sub County the leading producer of local gin known as Kasesewaragi said that home-brewing and distilling alcohol is not only a cultural activity but a large part of many families' incomes, which families use to pay school fees and household expenses.He said that women and children are often involved in the sale of home-brewed alcohol, due to a lack of income-generating
He said that children in Kasese start drinking alcohol at early ages and that it is also affecting their education.
“It is very common to find a child of 8 years with a Sacket of waragi others go with liquor at schools and that is a very big challenge in the district,” said Mugisha.
In 2008 with support from save the children Kasese district council passed a by law prohibiting the sale of alcohol to children and restricting the sale of waragi in shops but the by law has not been implemented.
By Simon Turibamwe.