Alcohol Policy Alliance, a grouping of some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has started mobilizing support to push for quick adoption of Alcohol Policy by Malawi Parliament.
The alliance on Thursday met some CSOs and other stakeholders in the southern region to, among other things, to call for their participation in the adoption and implementation of alcohol control laws in the country.
Alcohol Policy Alliance had formulated an Alcohol Policy currently in draft form with Ministry of Health for review before being sent to Parliament for adoption.
In an interview, Alliance’s National vice chairperson, Chancy Mkandawire said the policy is a binding document that will ensure alcohol producing companies, traders and consumers strongly abiding by enacted alcohol related regulations.
“As CSOs, we have interest in reducing alcohol consumption and ensure rules and regulations are enforced all the time when producing, trading and consuming alcohol. We would like to call for support in advocating for alcohol control laws in Malawi, mobilize support from stakeholders towards the adoption of the Malawi Alcohol Policy,” Mkandawire said.
Mkandawire said they were using the meetings with stakeholders to build a case at regional level to justify the need for Policy adoption, and disseminate information on alcohol related harm as well as negative social economic impact on development.
“We are also focusing on creating a forum for stakeholders to deliberate on strategies towards reduction of alcohol consumption and its effects particularly sachets. We would like to consolidate a voice for advocacy by stakeholders in the southern region,” he added.
Malawi for past three years has been awash with different alcoholic beverages, which have stirred heated debate due to legality of the brands and the laxity of the authorities to enact and enforce laws that would ensure the production, trading and consumption of alcohol in the country s regulated.
Among other issues outlined in the Alcohol Policy, are enforcement of alcohol consumption age limit, outlawing invalidated alcoholic brands and controlling export and importation of alcohol in the country as well as enforcing existing laws on alcohol production, consumption and trading.