BY UGANDA VANGUARD
KAMPALA – Cabinet has approved the national alcohol control policy to educate the public on the dangers of consumption of alcohol its production and marketing..
“The objective of the policy is to raise community awareness about the magnitude and determinants of the health, social and economic problems associated with harmful use of alcohol. This demonstrates government commitment to address the alcohol related harm using effective evidence based intervention,” reads a press statement issued Tuesday September 24, 2019.
“It is to enhance capacity and increase technical support for prevention of harmful use of alcohol and management of associated alcohol disorders. The policy is also to strengthen coordination and partnerships among stakeholders for increased mobilization of resources required for appropriate and concerted action to prevent harmful uses of alcohol,” it further reads.
Cabinet that sat on Monday September 23rd 2019 at State House, Entebbe further stated that the policy is to improve monitoring and surveillance systems at different levels.
“The policy is to strengthen regulation on production, packaging, distribution, marketing, sale and consumption of alcohol beverages,” it concludes.
Cabinet also noted the impact of corporate income tax waiver and refinancing of the Bujagali Hydro electricity power project on the end user tariff.
Of recent, there has been a high concentrations of hazardous metals have been found in a number of alcoholic spirits consumed in Uganda. The finding is a result of an intensive electronic analysis of samples of different spirits consumed by Ugandans.
The scientific study was commissioned and conducted in a US laboratory by Dr Olara Otunnu, the former under secretary general of the United Nations and also former president Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party and two leading members of the academia in US State of California.
The academia team included Ochan Otim, an environmental chemist at the University of Los Angeles and Tom Juma, an environmental monitoring expert in the city of Los Angeles, assisted by five researchers from Uganda. Their findings were published in a US open source scientific journal, PLOS ONE, on February 27.
The two separate laboratory analyses were performed on 17 alcoholic gin samples collected randomly from various places in Uganda over a space of two years. The samples were subjected to intensive heating of 93 degrees centigrade for two consecutive hours before they were analyzed for concentration of heavy metals.
The spirit samples include Uganda Waragi, Bond 7 Whisky, Chief Waragi, Ssalongo Gin, Royal Vodka, Kick Gin Pineapple, and Brigade Gin. The others are Big 5 Vodka and Relax from King Albert Distilleries in Kampala, Goal Vodka, Beckham Gin and V6 Tangawizi Vodka.
It also involved the use of samples of locally brewed Lira-Lira gin randomly collected from around Nsambya police barracks in Kampala, Teso bar in Lira Town, Awere and Bolo trading centres in Omoro district in northern Uganda alongside 13 samples of gins blended and packaged in sachets of 100-millilitre quantities each.
The gins were analyzed against a Scottish Whisky bought from San Diego in the United States of America and against standards set by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).