The Tanzania government anti-drugs campaign will be heating up this week as it has just announced the ban of the manufacture, import, sale and consumption of alcohol contained in plastic sachets.
The government made the announcement on Wednesday (March 1, 2017), with the dual objective to protect the environment and curb youth boozing.
The Environment Minister Jan Makamba in a statement said that the decision, which has been announced for several months will come into force on Wednesday 1 March in all provinces.
The import, manufacture, sale and consumption of the 50 millilitre alcoholic sachets — the size of a double shot and commonly containing gin, rum, vodka, whisky or other spirits — will be banned with effect from March 2, said Minister January Makamba.
The government believe that there was every reason to ban these small sachets because they contain all kinds of alcoholic drinks and also they pollute the environment because they are easily thrown away after consumption.
Similarly, the alcohol in sachets drinks pose lots of public health problem, as they are commonly consumed by young people who take advantage of its cheaper rate (sell for as little as $0.25) hence putting intoxicating liquor within reach of even the poorest while the discarded sachets clog drains and litter the streets.
Easily concealed in pockets of trousers or school bags, they easily enter classrooms. In some schools, one can see young students “suck”, between two courses, bags of 50 milliliters.
The ban no doubt angered some businessmen who make huge profit from the import and sale of the sachet alcoholic drinks as well as drinkers will now have no option but to resort to drinking bottled alcoholic drinks. The kick to reverse the ban was overtaken by many Tanzanians, especially parents, teachers and religious leaders who see the ban as a welcomed development.
Tanzania by this ban has joined the list of African countries that have banned the import, manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol contained in plastic sachets. Several African countries such as Ivory Coast, Senegal, Malawi and Rwanda have already imposed bans on alcohol sachets.