SLAPA urges stringent measure on alcohol intake

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December 7, 2018

By Yusufu S. Bangura

slapa
L-R SLAPA’S Programme Director William Dauda, Isatu A. Sesay and Executive Director Ibrahim Kamara

While commending the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) for recent promise to ensure public safety and security during the festive season, Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Alcohol Policy Alliance (SLAPA) has urged the former to not only limit rigid law enforcement to the festive season, but extend it beyond.

 

Ibrahim A. Kamara was Thursday addressing journalists at a presser, urging the need to put in place serious security measures during the festive season.

Kamara said they appreciate the move by the SLP to assure the general public about their preparedness ahead of the festive season.

He said SLAPA is a national civil society network of 74 non-governmental organisations that advocates and supports the development and implementation of a national alcohol policy geared towards regulating the production, marketing, sales and consumption of substances in Sierra Leone.

The SLAPA Executive Director revealed they had conducted research in September this year which revealed that 40% of road traffic deaths in Sierra Leone were related to the intake of alcohol by drivers while on the road.

He added that the WHO global status report on road safety 2015 indicated that death rate as a result of traffic accidents in Sierra Leone was worse than the African regional average – the highest of all regions in the world.

He said that SLAPA was deeply concerned about the safety, peace and security of members of the public at all times, and respectfully urged the government to urgently consider developing a national alcohol policy as well as a comprehensive review of the Liquor Act.

He said they have put measures in place, including strengthening restrictions on alcohol availability, outlet density restriction, hours and days of sale of alcohol and licensing of producers, establishing and enforcing laws on minimum drinking age of young people.

He re-affirmed their support to the government for the development and implementation of a comprehensive national alcohol policy in line with the WHO Global Strategy to reduce harmful use of alcoholic substances in Sierra Leone.

Programme Director at the Foundation for Rural and Urban Transformation, William Dauda, said they envisioned a peaceful, corruption-free and democratic Sierra Leone where men, women and children exercise their human rights and live in dignity.

He added that they would make sure that men, women and children were free from poverty and social injustice, and that alcohol and drugs do not prevent them from fulfilling their full potentials.

He said they would provide a forum for alcohol policy advocates through meetings, information sharing and publications with the purpose of disseminating information nationwide on effective alcohol policies.

Board Member of SLAPA and Executive Director of Talented Young People Everywhere (TYPE-SL), Isatu A. Sesay said that  the mission of SLAPA was to reduce alcohol-related harm in Sierra Leone by advocating for young people and supporting  government regulations that control the production, sale and consumption  of  the substance.