A total of 301 alcohol outlets in Lusaka’s Matero, Lilanda, George and Chunga townships operate outside the stipulated business hours, a snapshot alcohol outlets density survey has revealed.
The survey was conducted recently by the Southern Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) in markets, areas near schools and along major roads in the sampled townships.
SAAPA Board Chairperson Charles Searson has since appealed to Government to quickly implement an alcohol policy to regulate the drinking habits among Zambians.
Father Searson said alcohol was a serious social problem affecting development programmes.
“Preliminary results of our snapshot alcohol outlet density survey conducted in Matero, Lilanda, George and Chunga indicate that alcohol outlets in high density areas are alarming and shocking,” he said.
Fr Searson also disclosed that there were 55 alcohol outlets found in Lusaka’s Emmasdale area along the road popularly known as Devil Street.
“The survey targeted market places, major roads and selected areas near schools. Of the seven markets surveyed, 301 alcohol outlets were found. In Emmasdale area, 55 outlets were allocated in markets and along major roads and around 100 meters radius from schools,” he said.
The survey found that at Buseko market alone, there are 37 bars, four pubs, 13 taverns, 14 liquor shops and eight grocery shops that also sell alcohol. “Our earnest appeal to Government is to remain uncompromised and abide by the World Health Organization expert committee recommendation to not collaborate with alcohol industry in policy formulation but instead prioritize public health benefits before profits,” Fr Searson Said.
Fr Searson appealed to Government to approve the National Alcohol Policy to allow the alcohol industry to operate within the confines of policy and legal frameworks especially for producers. He was concerned about study indications showing that alcohol was easily accessible, available and affordable and resulting in increased crime rate, loss of productivity and risky sexual behaviour.