Kvinnor, bistånd alkohol del 2 – Intervju med Julius Bitamazire

Del två i serien om kvinnor, bistånd och alkoholfrågan är som utlovat, en intervju med en person som jobbar med projektet jag beskrev i förra inlägget1. Julius Bitamazire jobbar som policy och metodansvarig hos International Aid Services Sverige och har varit vänlig nog att svara på mina nyfikna frågor. Intervjun är på engelska och jag föreslår google translate för den som inte känner sig så hemma på språket: https://translate.google.se/

Skärmavbild 2014-06-24 kl. 12.27.50

Presentation

I work with International Aid Services – IAS – at the Stockholm offices, as the Policy and Quality Assurance Advisor. I have been working with IAS for over 20 years now.

How or/and why did you start working with this project?

The pilot project was begun in the IAS operation area of Northern Uganda, though now we feel it should be spread to the other operation areas (www.ias-intl.org)

Throughout the initiatives of International Aid Services (IAS) towards Food Security and enhancement of rural livelihoods in Northern Uganda, it increasingly became evident that there are enterprises that the communities engage in which are self-defeating. Alcohol production and consumption has much bearing on the success of any given intervention for the rural communities. Alcohol production and abuse affects allocation of assets at household level hence impacting negatively on the social welfare of the community. It mainly affects the productive age group hence limiting their productivity and contribution to social welfare. Furthermore alcohol abuse is one of the major contributing factors to domestic and gender based violence (GBV), spread of HIV/AIDS, high school dropout rate and other social evils. While on one hand brewing and selling alcohol in its various forms is a source of income to the rural poor, especially the women, the same alcohol is abused, hence contributing negatively to the attainment of the various Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Why do you think the project is important?

It is important to note that alcohol is made out of food stuffs, affecting availability of food at rural community level hence frustrating the campaign for improved nutritional levels.  Much effort has been placed on improving the rural livelihoods of northern Uganda. However, increased income of rural communities has not been matched by improvement in social welfare, because of the vices associated with alcohol production and consumption. In seeking to improve the social welfare of rural communities, it is crucial that communities are not only encouraged to diversify their livelihoods (with many women engaging in alcohol production in addition to farming) but rather they are empowered to critically evaluate the impact of their sources of income on social welfare and hence guide the enterprise selection process

Do you think we are blind when it comes to the alcohol industry and more focused about the health-issues of alcohol?

I hope I got the meaning of the question. All I can say is that here in Sweden, a lot has been done to cub the promotion of alcohol (although more needs to be done) The reasons for taking on to drinking are the same. It is the intensity and abuse that differ given the policies and legislation pertaining drinking alcohol. Given the legislation pertaining the drinking of alcohol, I wouldn’t say people here are blind. In a country like Uganda, big government revenues are generated from taxes levied on alcohol production with which the government supports its budget and hence not much effort has been put into analyzing the impact of alcohol on the families that consume it. The short-term benefits from the sale of alcohol blind many to the pains caused by abuse of the same. Alcohol production in Uganda is done at various levels most of which are unregulated. Production by the formal breweries is estimated at 37% while domestically produced spirits constitute 63%.

Tack så mycket Julius för din medverkan! För er som vill veta mer finns IAS-INTL Sverige på https://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Aid-Services-IAS/173209342702748 och sin hemsida: http://www.ias-intl.org/se/

Sigrid Mikaelsson-Rehnberg

  1. http://alkoholpolitik.se/?p=1082 []

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