Uganda: Bishop, Alur King Agree to Kick Out Alcohol
By Patrick Okaba and Felix Warom Okello
July 22, 2015
Nebbi — Nebbi Catholic Diocese Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok and Alur cultural leader Phillip Olarker Rauni III have signed a memorandum of understanding to fight excessive sale and consumption of alcohol packed in sachets.
There is excessive consumption and sale of the gin, commonly known as waragi, in many trading centres in Nebbi district. The cheap price has made it possible for youth and elders to access the alcoholic drinks easily. Both the bishop and the Alur king on Monday said the excessive sale of alcohol in Alurland has promoted poverty, domestic violence and created incompetence among the youth.
King Olarker said the ministry of trade should restrict the quantity of sachet alcoholic drinks produced and increase the price in order to reduce its consumption.
“The kingdom is having low food production because the drinks are so affordable that it has affected family heads’ provision of food and other domestic upkeep,” King Olarker said.
Bishop Wanok said heavy consumption of alcohol has led to the reduction of the number of Christians in the church. This, he said, is resulting in divorce, domestic violence and suffering of children.
“We signed an MoU with cultural leaders to get an avenue of reducing the high consumption of alcohol. God created his people to produce and protect the natural resources and not to die due to manufactured chemicals,” Bishop Wanok said.
In Nebbi, some bars do not close, oblivious of the effects of over consumption of alcohol. Cancer of the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, liver and breast are associated with heavy consumption of alcohol.
Uganda is the highest consumer of alcohol per capita in the East African region, according to a 2014 Global Status on Alcohol and Health report.
Ugandans according to the report, consume the unregulated type of alcohol classified as “others”. The report indicates that 23.7 litres of pure alcohol are consumed per capita by drinkers annually in Uganda.