More than one year after beginning the fight to rid Gulu District of sachet alcohol, the ban was finally passed by the attorney general in Kampala.
“I believe we are starting to see moments of God’s transformation [in Uganda].”
World Renew, the Ordinance Diocese of Northern Uganda and other local partners in the community organizing group Wakonye Kenwa tirelessly petitioned and worked alongside government officials throughout the year to draft the ordinance and see it through the process to approval.
Wakonye Kenwa had identified alcoholism as one of the most pressing issues affecting livelihoods in Gulu district, a postwar conflict-affected region. Insecurity, loss and social pain are ripe conditions for excessive alcohol use, and sachet alcohol in particular was an issue because of its accessibility. It was available in every corner market and stand, and was so inexpensive even school children were able to purchase it. It was common to see and hear of men and women selling their belongings, land and even food to purchase alcohol to feed their addiction.
Now that the ordinance has become local law, World Renew and Wakonye Kenwa have begun to look ahead to implementation and enforcement of the law, along with community education strategies. Working with a group of NGOs, community education initiatives are already underway, including the formation of alcoholic anonymous (AA) groups and appointing local community members to lead them.
World Renew and Wakonye Kenwa continue to demonstrate how community groups can act as an example and a catalyst for continued change in the community. As Tessa Laing, Justice Coordinator of the Diocese of Northern Uganda, wrote nearly one year ago, “I believe we are starting to see moments of God’s transformation [in Uganda].”
Join us in prayer for Northern Uganda and for the broader region as we continue to mobilize the community for positive change.