Sepiks ban beer

National, Normal


THE East Sepik provincial administration has banned the sale and consumption of liquor early this month following an increase in liquor-related incidents.
It follows a month after neighbouring Madang did likewise for the same reason. It is for six months.
The East Sepik ban, however, is for an indefinite period, effective from Sept 2 following pressures from provincial police commander Insp Charles Parinjo.
He had wanted the provincial administration to impose controllable measures because illegal sales and consumption of liquor was widespread and beyond the control of his police strength.
Although the ban is  indefinite there are exemptions, alcohol could be served at hotels and guest houses and at licensed premises where it was normally consumed with food.
Parinjo admitted that police were unable to effectively control liquor-related incidences because they were no laws in place for them to enforce.
He said the province did not have a provincial liquor licensing board to make laws and regulate the sale of liquor and, therefore, the best option was to ban the whole activity.  
Parinjo said with the ban in place, police would now keep watch on brewing and consumption of homebrew or steam and warned that anyone who comes in contact with the law would face severe punishment.
Several local level government presidents in the province, who are members of the provincial executive council, supported the move by Parinjo and have made public statements over the last two weeks that they would push for the PEC to give police more power to punish law breakers.
They said the PEC would make laws for those brewing and consuming steam to be jailed for 15 years and those who are involved in this activity should stop or face the consequences.
Meanwhile the PPC has also called on the PEC to legislate underlying laws banning the sale of yeast in all retail outlets and supermarkets.
Parinjo said provisions of that law might allow yeast to be sold only to bakeries only or to have the yeast mixed with flour before they go onto the shops’ shelves.
He said this would also cut down on brewing of steam and its associated activities.