When saying goodbye to my brother when I left Zambia a year ago, he jokingly shoved a little plastic sachet into my hand and said, “take this you might need it along your journey”. My brother runs a bakery where on several occasions he has had to confiscate these liquor sachets from the bakery staff, and he has bitterly complained on the adverse effects of alcohol on productivity. Teary eyed I had shoved the sachet into my handbag. The government of Zambia has since banned this sachet commonly known in Zambia as tujilijili. One liquor sachet could be bought on any street corner at ZMK 1000 the equivalent of 20 cents or SEK 1,50
According to a Reuters article 07/08 a WHO report states that an African drinks about 6,15 liters of pure alcohol every year, about half of what a European would drink. The article further states that alcohol abuse is adding to Africa’s current burden on HIV, birth defects, crime and violence. The catalysts:
1.Loosely enforced alcohol regulations
3.The increase in commercial alcohol availability
4.Lack of education on alcohol abuse
Governments are now taking drastic measures to put alcohol abuse on the agenda and to put legislations into place to curb this problem. The brewers argue that regulations on manufacturers would only fuel consumption of lethal home-made brews.
An alcohol problem that needs to be addressed. I am encouraged to see African governments taking action.
- African alcohol binge raises pressure for crackdown (todayonline.com)