Police Asks Gulu District Council to Fast track Ban on Alcohol

Police in Aswa region has called on Gulu District Local Council to quickly pass an ordinance that will restrict the sale and consumption of alcohol also known as waragi packed in sachets.

According to police, this will curb the current high cases of fatal accidents in the sub region.

In August alone, at least ten people were killed in road accident across Acholi sub region.

Mr Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa region Police Spokesperson, says at least half of the victims were drunk by the time of the accident.

Okema explained that those who are drunk tend to over-speed leading to road accidents.

He noted that, “Coupled with the upgrade of roads, the region could experience a disaster if consumption of sachet waragi is not restricted.”

He cited two cases were motorcycle riders and their passengers were under the influence of alcohol prior to the fatal accidents that ended their lives.

Police traffic department recorded three deaths as result of drunk –driving related accidents along Alero road and Atiak- Juba highway at Kati-Kati, less than 10KMs from Gulu town in August this year.

Alcoholic drinks packed in sachets cost between Shs500-Shs1, 000 in drinking joints in Gulu villages.

Over 21,000 liters of crude waragi is imported and consumed in Gulu District every month, according to Mr Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu district LCV Chairperson.

Two weeks ago, religious and cultural leaders from the Acholi sub region called on the local government leaders to put a total ban on illicit waragi saying it is the cause of the biting poverty in the former war ravaged Northern Uganda.

They argued that that alcoholism is a big threat to the lives of people returning to their homes from the Internally Displaced Peoples’ camps following the cessation of hostilities.

In 2010, a total of 31 people died and 17 others went blind after they are suspected to have consumed locally brewed alcohol.