Goziri bans consumption of akpeteshie during funerals
The people of Goziri, near Nandom in the Lawra District of the Upper West Region, have banned the sale and consumption of hard alcoholic drinks like “akpeteshie” at funerals and social gatherings in the community.
The ban was announced at a community durbar to herald the celebration of the annual “Kakube” festival of the Nandom traditional area. Any member of the community who violates the ban would have the drinks confiscated, and also pay a fine of not less than GH¢10.
The measure, according to reports from the area, which have been confirmed by a publication in the third issue of “Voices for Food Security,” a newsletter published by the British non-governmental organisation (NGO), Oxfam, is to reduce the negative impact of alcoholism, which is alarmingly high in the area.
According to the report, most of the residents of the area eat only one meal a day, mostly supper, and take alcohol for the rest of the day. As a result, they had less energy for hard work, and even sold their farm produce to supplement household incomes for other needs, and eventually, used the money realised for alcohol.
The Goziri community is a beneficiary of the Food and Agricultural Management (FARM Plus) project, which is aimed at ensuring food security, securing employment, and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the beneficiary communities in the three Northern regions. The project is being implemented by Care International and OXFAM, with funds from the European Union’s food facility pot.
According to Oxfam, following advocacy training for community leaders, the people of Goziri identified alcoholism, post harvest losses, and sanitation as key issues affecting agricultural production and the general well-being of households in the area.
The community leaders realised that they could address those social issues through dialogue and advocacy among themselves, and therefore, adopted messaging with an advocacy approach to change attitudes and behaviour in the community.
During the sensitisation, the community members began voicing out their concerns and suggesting ways of dealing with the high level of alcohol consumption.
It would be recalled that Goziri has become a model community in the Upper West Region, where a ban on bush burning has been in force for over two decades now. - GNA
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