This month we have done Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program follow-up visits in all the wards that we have implemented this program. The purpose for the follow up visits is to see for ourselves the progress since we last visited. We observed the village surroundings and talked to village leaders about resolutions agreed about alcohol abuse prevention.
Our visits covered three wards namely Kising’a, Mseke and Masaka. These are the areas we have been implementing our program. In these wards we conducted seminar about alcohol effects, role of village council and entrepreneurship.
The follow-up visits started in Kising’a ward where there is a huge shift in drinking attitude in most of the villages we conducted seminars. In matembo village they have created alcohol bylaw with 15 passages. This law covers, opening and closing hours of selling alcohol, preventing children from alcohol, brewing and other things.
There is progress also in Ilambilole and Igingilanyi villages with visible changes in places where alcohol is sold being closed in working hours. At this point bylaws have already been created and they are waiting approval from district level.
In Masaka ward we have seen positive changes just like Kising’a. In Kaning’ombe the local brewers are producing less alcohol and they no longer waste the remaining alcohol because they produce only what can be consumed. The village office receives less complains related to alcohol from average of 10 per weeks to 3 or less per month.
In Makota village they have agreed on several issues regarding alcohol but they have not put them in writing. It is good that everyone follows but we have advised them to put them in writing as bylaw so that they can have a reference even in future.
One of the success story is in this ward. Tanangozi village have undergone a huge transformation since we have started the program there. This place is a famous transit point where people used to drink alcohol almost 24 hours. The village council have done a great job by having bylaws since last year restricting selling of alcohol before 3 pm.
They have also been creative by starting a group of youth that is responsible for security in the village and a football team. People are no longer idle, they all have something to do these days.
We are impressed with the progress so far. It is good that the communities are taking measures themselves that shows that they understood and accepted our program. We have learnt that Community Based Approach is very successful but the community must first agree to change.