Southern Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) president, Phillip Chimponda, says alcohol can be an obstacle to national development if not controlled.
Speaking during an interactive media workshop in Kabwe today, Mr Chimponda observed that the media in the country only talk about alcohol when there are alcohol-related harms such as accidents, Gender Based Violence (GBV) and crime among others.
Mr Chimponda complained that the situation has further been compounded by the failure to implement the National Alcohol Policy which was approved in 2018.
He said his organisation and its alliance partners expect that the damage related to alcohol will be mitigated if the media would get interested and report more on alcohol related issues.
Mr Chimponda has blamed the failure to implement the National Alcohol Policy of 2018 on lack of commitment by the previous government, political interference and the lack of implementation mechanism among other pertinent issues.
He has since disclosed that his team will soon be meeting President Hakainde Hichilema to share their aspirations on the control of alcohol consumption.
He said his organisation and alliance partners were inspired by President Hichilema’s inaugural speech in which he addressed the issue of alcohol use in the country.
He stated that it is time that policy makers start seeing the consequence of alcohol on a productive young population.
He called on government to be committed in the provision of resources for the implementation of the policy.
Meanwhile, Southern Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) Technical Advisor, Jonas Ngulube, said the media is a key partner in highlighting the adverse effects of alcohol.
He noted that Kabwe district is a good example of where bars operate within or near school premises while the law is very clear and forbids that.