Over a year after since starting the fight to rid Gulu District of sachet alcohol, the local Ordinance Diocese of Northern Uganda (DNU), with support from World Renew, finally received approval for this ban by the attorney general in Kampala.
Tessa, the Justice Coordinator in DNU, said, “After first waiting patiently, then sending well-known representatives of Gulu District to check on the law’s progress in the Ministry of Justice in Kampala, we finally resorted to sending Wakonye Kenwa’s coordinator to personally investigate. Wakonye Kenwa’s coordinator located the state attorney in First Parliamentary Council that had been assigned to work on the alcohol ordinance, and then worked on it with her until the process was complete. The group’s coordinator then tracked the document’s progress from the First Parliamentary Council to the local government office in Kampala, and then back to Gulu District, where it was signed by the LC5 chairperson on the 3rd of October. It then took three additional weeks to track the ordinance back to the local government office in Kampala, back to the First Parliamentary Council for approval, and finally to printing in the Gazette from the Ugandan Printing and Publishing Corporation in Entebbe.”
When the return was complete, the alcohol ordinance created a media storm via national television (NTV News), newspaper (The Daily Monitor), online websites, and multiple radio stations. The Wakonye Kenwa group held a local celebration to coincide with the group’s annual party.
Radio Talk Shows
Wakonye Kenwa members featured in two key radio talk shows that discussed the new alcohol ordinance.
In the first talk show at Radio Mega FM, coordinator Aber Tessa and the leader of Obiya West, Otim Lawrence, appeared alongside the LC5 chairperson and prominent lawyer Henry Komakech Kilama. Otim Lawrence explained how the Wakonye Kenwa group had fought for the new law, and he shared his own personal story of losing his brother to liver disease as a result of alcohol addiction.
In the second radio talk show on Mega FM, Gulu District’s most popular station, Wakonye Kenwa chairperson Bongomin Lawrence told the story of how Wakonye Kenwa came up with the idea of the new law and worked with many allies to ensure that the ordinance succeeded.
Laker Alice, a member from Obiya West community, told her personal story of being both a brewer and drinker of alcohol, and how it brought severe problems into her home. She announced publicly that she had resolved to stop drinking, and that she had not consumed alcohol since Wakonye Kenwa’s addiction training with Caritas Counselling.
Preparation for the Launch of the Alcohol Ordinance
Wakonye Kenwa continues to play a key role in bringing together an alliance of locally based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to make sure the alcohol ordinance is enforced.
Together they planned a joint district-civil society launch that was held on Tuesday, the 22nd of November, 2016.
The same alliance of NGOs produced simplified resources to explain the law to Gulu citizens, holding meetings to educate key enforcers about the law, and sensitizing various community groups and the business community.
Wakonye Kenwa performed a drama about alcohol at the launch, and they played a key role in mobilizing people from the local community to attend. While the NGOs represented at the coordination meetings are interested in educating and “sensitizing” their communities, Wakonye Kenwa hopes to play a key role in demonstrating how community watch groups can help ensure that enforcement really happens, acting as an example and a catalyst for other areas.
Please pray that
- there will be victory over the challenges toward making the law operational.
- wisdom and diligence will prevail as the partner organization works through the details of community mobilization for positive action.
- we will have the resources to continue responding to the South Sudanese refugee influx in northern Uganda, as people need shelter, water, and food in the midst of the long drought season.
World Renew Uganda