Lamwo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 20 cases of domestic and gender-based violence are recorded by the Lamwo District Community Department every week.
Wilfred Nyeko, the Lamwo District Community Development Officer, told Uganda Radio Network that he registers between 5-7 cases of domestic and gender-based violence each day excluding those reported at the sub-counties.
Nyeko attributed the high cases of domestic violence to overindulgence in alcohol by both men and women.
Nyeko explained that although there is an ordinance against the sale of crude gin in the district, businessmen normally import the alcohol from Lango Sub-region under the pretext of taking it to South Sudan but end up selling it in Lamwo.
Nyeko said they are finding challenges enforcing the ordinance against the sale of local gin in the district because of limited manpower.
Juma Abdulla, the LC III Chairperson of Madi Opei Town Council, blamed the rising cases of domestic violence on the lack of psychosocial support in the community. Abdulla noted that all development partners are now concentrated in the settlement camp leaving the host community without such support.
Nyeko acknowledged Abdulla’s concern and revealed that there are about forty-six (46) Non-Governmental Organisations-NGOs in the district but more than thirty have signed memoranda to work within the settlement camp.
Overconsumption of alcohol is a national problem. In 2018, the World Health Organisation ranked Uganda among the top alcohol consumers on the continent.
In 2019, the Ministry of Health formulated a national Alcohol and Control Policy to guide all stakeholders in reducing the harmful use of alcohol, but the implementation seems to be weak.
In 2021, Uganda still made it among the 10 top alcohol consumers in Africa, and number one in East Africa, which each consumer drinking an estimated 26 liters of alcohol per year.