The National, Tuesday 22nd November 2011
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
THE Southern Highlands provincial government is not doing enough to help police to enforce an alcohol ban there, a youth leader says.
Mendi town youth chairman John Mombulu said large quantities of alcohol were being freely smuggled into the province by road from Tambul, Western Highlands, or Kandep in Enga.
Mombulu said last Friday smugglers were taking advantage of a lack of logistics and manpower faced by police there.
He said the provincial government must fund the police so there were officers stationed at every entry and exit point into the province to stop people from smuggling alcohol.
He said one checkpoint at Kagul River, on the border of Western Highlands and Southern Highlands, was not enough because people “are still using the two existing roads to smuggle alcohol into the province”.
He said despite the ban, alcohol was being sold openly on the streets of Mendi town.
Mombulu said alcohol-related problems were gradually increasing.
He said the large quantities of alcohol smuggled into the province almost every day had now “become a major threat to the 2012 national election and the multi-billion kina liquefied natural gas (LNG) project”.
He said the provincial executive council was not serious in funding the police to maintain the liquor ban.
Mombulu said generally people were happy with the liquor ban but it had to be effectively policed.
He called on the national government and the eight local members of parliament from the province to help the provincial government enforce the liquor ban.