Campaign to fight under-age drinking launched

2015-05-01 06:00

IN its endeavour to alleviate under-age drinking, the Eastern Cape Liquor­ Board (ECLB) hosted a schools debate and drama competition at Maluti Civic Centre yesterday.

For the first time, ECLB held an anti­-under-age drinking drama and debate with schools around Alfred Nzo District Municipality.

Mgwebi Msiya, ECLB spokesperson, said this is a flagship programme organised by the board in the area.

Ten schools from around Matatiele and Maluti villages competed in the two categories with the aim of making young people messengers of the theme “Booze is not for pupils”.

The objective is to educate and influence behavioural change in groups that have the inclination to abuse liquor­ and sensitise them about the consequence of drinking.

Prior to the main event the SAPS, the Council of Churches in Maluti and the ECLB conducted awareness campaigns about the dangers of indulging in alcohol while at school, and the consequences thereof.

“It has come to the attention of the board that pupils are exposed to illegal and irresponsible trading in the villages, and substance abuse has escalated to disturbing numbers.

Most of the villages are on the border­ of Lesotho and South Africa and this makes them vulnerable to the illegal smuggling of drugs which targets­ these young ones,” Msiya­ said.

He added that the ECLB is responding to the results of a socio- economic­ research study which found that 36% of Grades 8, 9 and 10 pupils have tried alcohol.

“The study was commissioned with the view of establishing the socio­-economic impact of alcohol abuse in the Eastern Cape.

“Findings on the prevalence of alcohol­ consumption among pupils raised alarms within the Eastern Cape Liquor Board, and intervention strategies have been developed to ensure­ that the school-going youth are educated about the negative effects of alcohol abuse and under-age drinking.”

Drama and debate have been identified as two effective mechanisms to alleviate alcohol abuse among young people

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