By Watchdog reporter
Mukono Municipality legislator Betty Nambooze has vowed not to give up on the Alcohol Drinks Control proposed Bill after the Speaker referred her to the Minister of Health to harmonise the Bill with the Alcohol Policy.
Nambooze told a Civil Society and Media engagement conference at Emerald Hotel in Kampala that she was willing to work with the Minister to bring out a more robust Bill to parliament after the recess.
The MP who was sensitizing the media and civil society through the steps a Bill takes before it is passed said, she does not have personal battles with the alcohol industry, but, she was more interested in the public good, which unregulated making and selling of alcohol was tampering with.
“I am going to meet the minister next week so that we are able to meet the timeline the speaker gave us,” she said.
Nambooze said the problem in Uganda was that Parliament was more interested in governance laws than legislating on issues that affect society such as alcoholism.
Earlier, experts who have researched on the adverse effects of alcohol such as Prof Monica Swahn a researcher from Georgia State University, Mr David Kalema of Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance and Butabika hospital head Dr David Basangwa, broke down the problems caused by alcohol selling and advertisements especially on children and women.
Swahn’s research underscored that there is urgent need for regulations prohibiting over exposure of alcohol advertisement to children, while Dr Basangwa, linked alcohol consumption to a number of injuries, diseases including cancers, mental disorders, and instant death in some instances.
Mr Kalema said alcohol was also responsible for among others accidents, disability and death.
He went on to add that violence, unsafe sex, academic failure, food shortage and increased public expenditure were some of the negative consequences of alcohol.
“30% of teenagers consume alcohol and 90% of teenage drinkers are binge drinkers,” Kalema said, which was amounted to abuse and irresponsible consumption.
He said the reason for widespread alcohol was largely due to for affordability and availability of alcoholic drinks in the country.
He called upon parliament and government to come up with strategies to reduce harmful sell and use of alcohol in the country.