Mayor focuses on steering youth away from alcohol


THE mayor of Aitape town in West Sepik, Ian Smith Welisai, says most law and order issues in his township are alcohol-related.
Welisai told The National that Aitape was a peaceful town but youths consuming drugs and alcohol, mainly homebrew, caused lawlessness.
“We do not often experience crimes like robbery or murder as most of the time problems happen because of our youths getting engaged with homebrew and drugs consumption,” he said.
He said because of that, his office was working on strategies to improve the mindset of youths and create sports and employment opportunities to keep young people occupied.
“As part of those strategies, I am sponsoring the mayor’s cup soccer tournament in Aitape right now with the theme of ‘unity’ to bring all our young people together to create positive relationships to work together.”
Welisai said K50,000 of provincial service improvement programme funds was used to sponsor the tournament which began yesterday and would end on Dec 4.
“This money was supposed to be used for a project in town but because the contractors involved in the project said the agreement did not meet some of their requirements I thought I’d use that money to keep my youths busy over the festive season so that they could not think of getting engaged in criminal activities or law and order issue,” he said.
He said there were also plans to provide employment opportunities for those youths to keep them off the streets and away from criminal activities.