By Najibu Mulema
Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze might not have managed to get her Alcohol Control bill through Parliament, but, it seems her proposals are starting to bite.
In a meeting between the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde and members of the Uganda Alcohol Industry Association (UAIA) at the ministry offices in Kampala, the two parties reached a resolution to ban alcohol in sachets as a way of combating the dangers of alcohol especially to the youth.
Mrs Kyambadde said the government is set to ban alcohol in sachets next year and it has given alcohol manufacturers up to Sept 30, 2017 to stop sale of alcohol in sachets.
According to officials, alcohol sold in sachets has become a danger especially to the youth because it is cheap and easily accessible.
Currently, 75% of the alcohol manufactured is sold in sachets while the rest (25%) is sold in bottles.
The minister noted that although government recognizes the importance of the alcohol industry in employment creation and contribution of revenue inform of taxes, the packaging of alcohol needed to be changed from the small sachets which are cheap, easily accessible and easy to move with, to bottled alcohol.
“There is general abuse of the production and consumption of alcohol, which pauses, health, safety, social and environment problem to the entire public and communities especially the youth,” said Kyambadde.
She added that problems that include domestic violence, youth dropping out of school, traffic road accidents and environmental degradation among others are all associated with abuse of alcohol.
“Such negative effects of the alcohol industry have raised concerns among the public, communities and government, and require to be effectively and sustainably addressed by Government,” she asserted.