The Malaita Provincial Premier Daniel Suidani has called on the government to take a leading role in the fight against the illegally home-brewed alcohol locally known as ‘Kwaso.’
Premier Suidani in a statement said the government by now should come up with key actions to help police in the fight against Kwaso.
One of the suggested solutions. he said; “is to ban of the important of Mauripan Yeast.”
“This is one of the main substances used in mixing the illegal home-brewed alcohol - kwaso,” he said.
He said because of the free access to yeast sold in local shops police are fighting a losing battle against kwaso.
“Therefore, it's important for the government to take measures in restricting the sales of yeast.”
The premier insisted that the government of the day did not do much to address this rising problem.
“Therefore, by putting a total ban on Mauripan Yeast will definitely limit access to the substance which will also prevent kwaso producers from accessing the substance.
"There may be other forms of yeasts and ways to produce home-brewed alcohol, but I believe they are not as prevalent and accessible as Mauripan Yeast."
He believes a ban on the product and limiting its access through a licensing regime could reduce the production of kwaso in our communities.
"The government had been talking about dealing with Facebook through legislation and even threatened to ban Facebook.
"It should equally do the same for Kwaso and other harmful drugs like Marijuana that are causing a lot of trouble in our communities.
"Any law meant to address these issues should criminalize all aspects of the production, selling, consumption, and trafficking of the drug.
"It's time to make tougher laws to penalize those that have caused so much trouble to our communities.
"It is also time the government must work with other concerned stakeholders including the provincial governments to develop appropriate educational programs targeted at dealing with these issues,” he said.
He added, using the police alone does not work and will never solve the problem.
"If there is a need for stronger laws then the government needs to create them.
“If there is a need for education then the government needs to come up with programs to educate the people about these deadly things,” he said.
Premier Suidani said the government needs to be serious in addressing these issues or the country may risk becoming an unattractive destiny for visitors because of the prevalence of disorder in the communities.
Last year during the 16 Days of Activism against violence against women and girls the leader of the Malaita Council of Women Martha Rurai has also called on the government to ban Mauripan Yeast.
Mrs. Rurai made the call after realizing kwaso is the driving force behind domestic violence in Malaita Province.
According to those who are familiar with kwaso brewing, without Mauripan Yeast, Kwaso cannot be made which means putting a ban on Mauripan Yeast will definitely reduce or stop Kwaso production across the country.
The call to restrict sales of yeast has been a long time issue.
Given the access to yeast, people are producing kwaso and sold them at a cheap price which is affordable to youths.
In turn, they got drunk nearly everyday and caused problems to communities.
Yeast is used by mothers to bake cakes and bread.
BY WILSON SAENI
Auki News Bureau