By Matthew Jabby
In 2012, some 3.3 million deaths were recorded worldwide as a result of the harmful use of alcohol, either through diseases or through road accidents, according to Corporate Relations Officer at the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited (SLBL).
Ms. Aminata Kassim Carew was speaking yesterday at an event co-hosted by the Sierra Leone Roads Transport Authority (SLRTA) and the SLBL to mark the beginning of the Drink-Driving partnership between the institutions.
She disclosed that the partnership was launched in December 2013 with the aim of sensitizing Sierra Leoneans on the dangers of drink-driving, a menace which, quoting the World Health Organization, has claimed the lives of millions of people all over the world.
According to Carew, the 2012 WHO report stated that excessive drinking was detrimental to health and poses social consequences to the drinker, people around the drinker and society as a whole.
She said that the SLBL operates with a mission to be an exemplary company contributing to the sustainable development of Sierra Leone by creating opportunities for all, and that as partner for growth and as a responsible alcohol brewer, the company appreciates it has a duty to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, the reason for their partnership with SLRTA.
Madam Carew said it is their duty to effectively raise awareness amongst drivers, motorbike riders, students and all stakeholders that drink-driving is dangerous.
“We are part of Heineken International and as such we have a mandate to protect our consumers from the harmful use of alcohol or its excessive consumption. Sierra Leone Brewery Limited promotes the fact that alcohol should be consumed responsibly and this is demonstrated in our labeling which shows or indicates our ‘you drink responsibly’ logo and also the age restriction on all our alcohol brand bottles,” she said.
Carew said that it was cheaper for the sole beer brewer in the country to ensure the safety and well-being of their consumers, but very costly if they lose any consumer through alcohol abuse or alcohol related accident.
She admonished consumers to consume alcohol responsibly and not drink when they drive and vice versa.