TANZANIA: Teachers decry exposure of children to alcohol

Alcohol has been one of the major causes of poverty in many families, communities and also a major source of gender violence, said Mary Ngahyoma, chairperson of Tanzania Girl Guides Association.

Women teachers in Morogoro municipality have urged parents and guardians to stop sending children to buy them alcohol in bars and shops. 

Morogoro town in East-Central Tanzania. Photo: Utamaduni Online

The teachers made the call over the weekend, stressing the need for parents and guardians to also stop taking children to such areas.

The primary and secondary school teachers appealed to the government to come up with a law which will control the production and consumption of alcohol, including setting special areas for bars and clubs, saying they should be far from residential areas.

Speaking on behalf of other teachers, Gloria Joseph, who teaches at Morogoro Junior Seminary, said if local clubs and bars are kept far from residential areas, it would help shape the community’s discipline.

“We need to create a responsible society which is not induced into drunkenness,” she said.

The teachers were attending a training workshop on finding alternative ways of reducing or controlling alcohol consumption which was organised by a non-governmental organization, Tanzania Girl Guides Association (TGGA) under the sponsorship of the IGOT Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Territóio. (Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning) of the University College of Sweden.

Another teacher, Lilian Luhanda of Tubuyu Secondary school, urged the government to increase tax on hard drinks and to provide awareness to the consumers.

Maryciana Makanza from Kigurunyembe primary school advised the government to set special times for owners of clubs and bars to open and close their businesses.

She advised the community to reduce alcohol consumption in various community ceremonies such as birthdays, religious feasts, marriages and other functions.

For her part, TGGA chairperson for Morogoro region Mary Ngahyoma said many families have been affected by alcohol consumption.

“Alcohol has been one of the major causes of poverty in many families, communities and also a major source of gender violence,” said Ngahyoma.

Mental health coordinator Anjela Ngatunga called for concerted efforts against the use of alcohol and drugs because they contributed to moral decay in the community.

“If we don’t fight the use of drugs and alcohol, our community will be full of people who are drug-dependent, sick and poor,” she said.

The training workshop involved women teachers from Bigwa, Mwenge, Agape, Nanenane and Kigurunyembe primary schools.

Other schools were Tubuyu, Kitungwa, Kingolwira, Sumaye seconary schools and Morogoro Lutheran Junior Seminary.

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Source: The Guardian

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