Young People Petition Parliament of Uganda on Underage Alcohol Consumption
On 23rd June, 2017 Straight Talk Foundation (STF) will convene close to 40 students and pupils to present a petition against underage age alcohol consumption to the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda.
Speaking about the petition against underage alcohol consumption, STF Executive Director, Susan Ajok said, “Young people have a fundamental responsibility of making decisions not to take alcohol however, it is important to have a supportive environment to enable them hold on to decisions not to consume alcohol. We therefore call upon lawmakers to promote an alcohol free environment, in support of the decisions made by people under 18 not to consume alcohol.”
Underage alcohol consumption is not only a health problem but a social problem as well. Results from a recent baseline study conducted by Straight Talk Foundation in the districts of Gulu, Kabale and Soroti showed that more than half (50.8%) of young people surveyed had ever consumed some sort of alcohol. Of these consumers 17% were under age consumers. It is important to note that 71.6% of underage consumers (10-17 years) know where to access illicit alcohol which draws a case for the severity of underage consumption in Uganda. All health risks arising from underage alcohol consumption have increasingly become a burden to government’s health expenditures and regulation could be the only available preventative measure to ensure a safe population.
Straight Talk Foundation calls for:
• The use of national IDs to minimise the sale of alcohol to minors.
• Banning Sachets
• Sensitization of opinion leaders about liquor regulations so as to involve them in the control of non-compliance.
Since February 2014, STF has implemented the Red Card Campaign to educate and sensitize young people in schools who are between 10 and 17 on the dangers of alcohol abuse. It is anticipated that efforts such as these will reduce incidents of underage alcohol consumption and the overall misuse of alcohol. The campaign has been implemented in 8 districts targeting 100 schools. Achievements registered since 2014 include; teacher trainings, peer education and provision of young people with information on the dangers of underage alcohol consumption through its publications and radio programs.