REGULATE SALE AND CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL
Over the past few months, there have been complaints regarding sale of expired or adulterated alcoholic drinks.
A spot check on most shops in Juba city established that most unlicensed outlets sell alcoholic beverages with little regards to any laws regulating the sale and consumption of the same.
Some of the outlets are licensed to sell consumable goods but have taken advantage of poor surveillance to stock dangerous and poisonous liquor.
Some shop owners even conceal the alcoholic drinks using curtains to avoid open displays and possible wrath of any concerned authority.
It is important that the National Bureau of Standards sticks to the rule of the game, sale and consumption of alcohol cannot be left at the mercy of unscrupulous traders out to make quick money.
The same traders have capitalised on the poverty in the country to sell unlicensed counterfeits to unsuspecting poor people.
It is a pity to find very young and energetic people whose contribution to this country’s economic growth ought to be tapped but is left at the mercy of alcoholism.
Alcohol has been made to be one of the cheapest commodities available on shelves of shops across the city. Anyone with as little as SSP 100 can get alcohol at will.
Some of the alcoholic drinks have very high alcohol percentage; at times as high as 18 per cent yet our youth continue drink them as if under strict prescription.
How comes imported alcohol is cheaper in Juba than countries where the same drinks are manufactured?
This could as well be yet another reason why it is cheaper to become alcoholic in Juba than in other cities across East Africa.
In some neighbouring countries, authorities have imposed strict laws and regulations governing sale and consumption of alcohol.
There are recommended hours of operations and unlicensed outlets face stiffer penalties if found flouting the laws.
The fact that many do not understand the basic laws including those that seek to protect children has seen some parents send children as young as three years to buy them alcohol.
The government should not compromise or relent on the fight against drug abuse in this country.
Somebody must be held responsible failure of which we might lose a whole generation to alcoholism.