By Wilson Asiimwe
In a bid to regulate the high consumption of alcohol in Bunyangabu county in Kabarole district, many sub-counties in the area formulated by-laws restricting bars from opening during day time.
In Kisomoro sub-county, bars are only allowed to open in the afternoon and leaders say that because of too much drinking, most homes are languishing in poverty.
“Most of the youth would spend most of their productive time in bars. After realising this, we formulated a by-law barring bars from opening during day time. For those who insist, we either withdraw their licenses or make them pay fines,” Margaret Kabagweri, a councillor at the sub-county, says.
In Kibito town council, bars are also restricted from opening during day time, but some people sell the alcohol from the bush.
Kansiime Stella, the defence secretary for Kibito town centre, says: “If you move around, all the bars are closed, but people hide in bushes and sell alcohol. This must stop. We are using youth who move around to get information about the culprits.”
She says people have turned their residential houses into bars, a reason that is hindering town council law enforcers from curbing the vice.
“It is difficult to trace alcohol that is kept in homes. People keep them under their beds and in other corners. Consequently, the children have taken advantage of this; instead of going to school, they stay behind, drinking,” says David Kamala, a resident of Kibito sub-county.
“Men are no longer working and we fear that hunger might strike this area any time. People spend most of their productive time in bars instead of working on their farms,” says Beatrice Kajumba, the vice chairperson for Rwimi sub-county.
In Rwimi, authorities have instructed law enforcers to arrest anybody found drunk during day time, saying that alcohol is responsible for the high crime rate in the sub-county.
She observed that the high rate of alcohol consumption in the district is also a source of insecurity, since most criminals tend to hide in bars.
“We have had a challenge with bar attendants who sell alcohol to children below the age of 18. You find a child going to school with a sachet of alcohol in the pocket. We are going to arrest such people,” kajumba says.