June 3, 2013 (SSNA) — Alcohol has become a silent killer after poverty. It is a catalyst that increase the rate of bankruptcy of an individual drinker and for that reason, alcohol manifest itself as a fuel for poverty. Let’s view the type of alcohol abused today. The common one is the locally brewed alcohol known as ‘sicko’. It is brewed using yeasts, sugar and water, and it is readily available in every corner within Lakes state perimeter. Sicko has replaced the traditional brewery known as araqi or mau-col.
I guess, the extinction of araqi is caused by three factor; the brewing process of araqi is more difficult than that of sicko, the former require dura/sorghum and due to the short product and supply of sorghum, it becomes expensive to brew the mau-col, and the later is somewhat more concentrated than the former, as the customers like concentrated ones, the later is preferred.
The consumption of alcohol has reached an alarm level within the perimeter of Lakes state. The mode of drinking alcohol today is different from the previous generations.
Among communities that lived in Present Lakes State, alcohol was only taken by somebody with advanced age. A person whose daughters or sons are not yet married would not drink.
A ceremony was organized to introduce the person who reaches drinking age to drinking group. Sometimes, goat or sheep may be slaughter for better diet. In the first place a person is given ceremonial ‘biny’/cup of alcoholic drinks. This rite is accompanied with blessing from elders and celebrations follow after feasting.
It was shameful for a young man/woman or somebody whose children are not yet married to drink. But today Alcohol is taken by anybody. You take it as a drug that motivates them during fighting. The youth also believe that when one is tired, ‘sicko’ (Locally brewed alcohol) is drunk, it relief fatigue instantly. Sicko (locally brewed alcohol) is ones of most important required by the successful raiders. It help them to determine beyond their comfort zone since sicko drives away waves of fear, during fighting and other uncertainties involved.
Marriages in Lakes state are become unacceptably expensive. Alcohol ranks first in the list of Marriage expenses. Locally brewed includes sicko, Dakaya, and duma, in these types, there alcoholic concentration is not known, the effect is seen on the drinker and Imported types are beers of different brands and different concentrations and some warragi (spirit) are all bought for consumption in marriage ceremony. In the ceremony, everybody drinks for free and youth drink in a very unusual way, they mix alcohol with peanut paste or simsim paste, this way they taken more than that of elders. Alcohol demands in marriages increase the marriage expenses and it is proved to be one of the factors that motivate the raid or cattle rustling.
Other people drink alcohol to escape from the conscience that reminds them to do some action. This is typical for the individual who have perceived family responsibility as a burden. Here drinker loss a lot of money and time that could be used to solve the issues of family common concerns such as; food, medication and school fee for children. The family life is affected and in this scenario, alcohol becomes the fuel for poverty.
Wow can brewing support the brewers? Brewers sometimes stereotyped as widows stagnate in lowest level living standard. I believe over eighty percent of brewers run losses and maintain business which is less than hand to mouth type. Sometimes, the product is taken on credit; obviously the common customers borrow the substance are the extreme poor people who have accumulate huge debt for years and have no regular income.
Therefore, most of the debts demanded as a result of the credit sale become bad debts and it is actually a loss to brewer. Some people produce the substance and drink from it while selling some, this has two effects; no notable profit realized and the producer is the same time the drinker, hence her normal management skill for that business is impaired. The rate of the bankruptcy in this situation increase and the poverty is therefore fueled.
The children brought up in such environment where grown up people drink and do un-sounding things will never see any other good opportunity in life. The children automatically become brewers and drinkers. In the families where alcohol is brewed, there are horrific untold stories of rape and sexual abuse committed out of influence of alcohol, more so in presence of children.
What kind of child up bringing do we advocate by condemning the Lakes State government standing order that ban the sale and brewing of alcohol? The kids who witness such practices are psychologically affected. In most articles I so far read concerning, ban of sale and brewing of alcohol, some of you favor the production of alcohol with reason that it helps widows to support their families and educate the children. That is stereotype, not only widows are in that business.
What kind of peace do we advocate when the alcohol is used to abuse and undermine our common good the security? You are all aware of so many alcohol related cases, ranging from murder, road accidents and poor services in some institution where some keys staff or officers indulge in drinking.
Looking at this phenomenon objectively, as a concern citizen of South Sudan and more so Lakes State, we should appreciate the steps taken by the governor of Lakes State and give him moral support, on the issue of standing order (Banning of Sale and Brewing of Alcohol within Lakes State). Alcohol is the one of serious causes of social disorder in our society. By uprooting it, we shall gradually tackle effects easily. Of course, Raid, theft, Robbery and murder are effects by which alcohol is one of causes among other impediments.
We should put it in our mind that order is a law. According to Thomas Hobbes, “the good and bad depends on the will of the authority, power is the source of the moral value”. Therefore, the Ban of Alcohol sale and brewing should be respected as a law.
Those who condemn the arrest of brewers and sale of alcohol are putting order into test. I can call them authors of disorder. If every individual citizen respects this standing order and support the government to restore law and order, we will realize our common the security being served.
It is indeed a moral choice, either to continue fueling the poverty with that substance or take other positive businesses. There are some businesses which are antipoverty. These ones drain off powers of poverty and such businesses are; vegetable garden, small scale bakery and grocery shop. These businesses are organized in partnership of women, youth or any other social group. They are affordable to any minor group or individual.
Since Alcohol catalyses the rate of individual bankruptcy, causes social disorder and generally fuel the poverty. I therefore find the ground to favor the Lakes State Governor’s initiative of ordering Ban of Sale and Brewing of alcohol.
The author can be reached at [email protected]