KWASO brewers in Malaita have made huge earnings during the Christmas and New Year period from this illegal product.
Reports reaching Solomon Star said kwaso brewers made a lot of money from the sale of their home-brewed alcohol during the festive season.
The report said as most villagers could not afford to buy beer, they resorted to kwaso to get drunk.
A 330 ml bottle of kwaso costs $10 but in some places the price can go up as high as $15.
One kwaso selling spot near Auki was observed to serve a good number of young customers.
A kwaso brewer told Solomon Star that he earned ‘big money’ just ahead of the Christmas and New Year period.
He said he usually brews his kwaso product at a private location to avoid disturbance from community leaders and police and that he only sells his product to trusted clients who work with him to keep his illegal business activity under wraps.
“I have to cook extra kwaso to meet the high demand from nearby communities. I earn thousands of dollars during Christmas. It is money for me and my family for Christmas.
“I know this is an illegal business activity but how I could a resist doing so when I make good quick money from it. Yes, kwaso is highly demanded during times as the Christmas and New Year’s period.
“The money I earn from my kwaso production really helps me and my family to meet our basic household needs as well as my children’s school fees. As the 2023 academic year is starting soon, I have to produce as much kwaso as possible to be able to pay for my children’s school fees,” the kwaso brewer said.
Police have issued information factsheets in Malaita, declaring the production, possession, selling and consumption of Kwaso as illegal in the country.
“If you are caught with any equipment for producing it, assisting other person, producing it, conveying it, selling it, in possession, consuming or buying it you will be arrested and charged.
“Penalty for the offence of Kwaso – The law will punish you if you are arrested for the offence of Kwaso. There is a fine of SBD $30,000. If found guilty you may be imprisoned for five years.”
By SOLOMON LOFANA
Solomon Star, Auki