Let’s tell the story properly is the title of Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s 2014 Commonwealth Award Winning Short Story.
The story is written with a Ugandan conversation touch paying maximum attention to the details of interjections and sighs. That is how I would rather we tell the story of sachets in Uganda today.
When you take a walk around the nearest trading centre regardless of the time of day, you will not fail to see a young man or a group of them cuddling small sachets in their fists. They carry them as they execute their duties (for those who have). Unfortunately, this situation is not only among the youth on the streets but also at the work place. The sachets come at a very friendly and affordable price of UGX 500 for a 100ml sachet. And they come with a “kill me quick” element. This leaves you in company of drunk workmates should they be consumers.
The consumption of sachet alcohol began more than five years ago with Uganda Waragi. Then, the price was more than UGX 3000 and that made it hard for the youth to afford. Today, with numerous players on the market, there are so many available brands at a very low price. Whether they are all regulated, UNBS is yet to tell us. These mainly target the youth. Rogers Kasirye writes thus in his blog;
Research by Professor Swahn and UYDEL in 2014 shows that only 17% of youth in the slums, ages 12 to 18, find it difficult to purchase alcohol despite the minimum legal age of 18 years. The research also shows that nearly half of the youth report seeing alcohol adverts often (44%) and that they see ads in the city, on television, on radio and in newspapers and/ or magazines. More importantly, as many as 18% report getting free alcohol as part of promotional activities and as many as 20% report having items with an alcohol brand logo on it. Also, despite the mandated alcohol warning on the advertisements, our inventory of alcohol marketing in the slums of Kampala shows that as many as 25% of the marketing materials do not have any health warning. Continue reading “BAN SACHETS”