Lira alcohol ordinance in offing

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LIRA- Lira District leadership seeks to pass an ordinance that will regulate the consumption of alcohol in the district.

Lira District council speaker George Rashid Opio, confirmed the development, saying several councillors have already submitted a proposal suggesting that an ordinance for alcohol consumption be established.
“We are working together with the community development department to urgently table the ordinance in the next council meeting,” Mr Opio said on Monday.
The move to establish this by-law comes at a time when health experts are expressing concern over high rate of consumption of alcohol among young people in northern Uganda.
They say heavy consumption of alcohol has negatively impacted on the economic recovery of the north, once a war-torn region.

Local leaders said despite the ongoing sensitisation about the dangers it exposes to people, alcohol consumption has remained a challenge in the area.
In Lira District, sub-counties with the highest rate of alcohol consumption include Adekokwok, Bar, Amac, Aromo and Ogur.

In these sub counties, consumers, especially young people, are said to be drinking alcohol beginning as early as 10am to 12am, which leaders say is impacting negatively on women and children.
According to a 2012 World Health Organisation (WHO)) report, alcohol consumption was responsible for 3.3 million deaths worldwide.
On average, every person in the world aged 15 and older drinks 6.2 litres of pure alcohol a year.

The WHO report further suggests that 16 per cent of drinkers partake in spree drinking which is the most dangerous form of alcohol consumption.

Although there are no official statistics for Lira, the District health officer, Dr Patrick Buchan Ocen, said many young people have become addicted to alcohol.
“This is not a good practice especially to young generation that is supposed to contribute to socio-economic transformation of our country,” he said.

Mr Ocen said instead of engaging in productive ventures, the youth always spend most of the time drinking alcohol.

“I am happy with the initiative of Gulu District council that passed a by-law that banned alcohol sale in sachets. I wish Lira District borrows a leaf from them by ensuring that the time of drinking is limited from 6pm to 10pm,” Dr Ocen said.
Recently, Ms Betty Nambooze, Mukono Municipality MP initiated a private members Bill, ‘The Alcohol Drinks Control Bill, 2016,’ as part of efforts to check the overuse, misuse and abuse of alcohol.

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