Dear Editor – An online report raises, at least to me, some sensible points to the recently touted suggestion to banning yeast to try and prevent the illegal brewing and sale of kwaso.
This article reads, and I quote.
“The banning of yeast has been touted by the public and Premier Daniel Suidani of Malaita province is also openly supportive of the idea.
“The call to ban yeast has come about because of increasing social disorders and disturbances caused by homebrew, and the popular kwaso. “One of the key ingredients in making home-brewed alcohol is yeast.
“So, the rationale is, and now promoted by many, if we ban yeast it will limit or stop the production and consumption of home-brewed alcohol and related social problems.
“But it may not be that simple. Grace Judah, a mother of four young children who rely on the income she gets from the baking and selling of cakes, says the banning of yeast is the wrong approach.
“I think that the move to ban yeast, if it is true, will affect all market vendors where most sell cakes as a way of earning income.
“I am here every day with my cakes, and I do this so that my family can survive. This is the most popular way to make money for most mothers I know who are not employed,” end of the quote.
What do you think? If yeast is limited to bakeries and a customer limited to the amount of yeast a single customer can buy, will the likes of Grace suffer from making a living by baking and selling cakes to support her family?
I agree that the illicit kwaso trade must be curtailed and stopped if possible but not, I feel, at the expensive of people like Grace.
Much tougher penalties for those convicted of brewing and selling kwaso are needed despite the often, including my own views, that kwaso traders are also needing to support their families.
My suggestion would be those sentenced for selling kwaso be made to do some form of community service and engaged in the Rapid Employment scheme and be able to earn enough income to help themselves and their families.