While working with various AIDS Awareness Clubs and Youth Groups, the issue of alcohol abuse, and to a lesser extent, drug abuse, kept on arising. Many stories of girls taking sugar daddies, boys starting to fight and couples having unprotected sexual intercourse end up having one think in common: the abuse of alcohol.
[...] Reading your contributions, it is very obvious that you are confronted with alcohol and drug abuse on a regular basis. You either use/abuse them yourselves or you see family members, friends or members of the community suffering from their abuse. Most of your contibutions are very touching, and your message is loud and clear: STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL AND DRUGS.
Alcohol and drugs are and will unfortunately probably continue to be a hotly debated topic for a long time to come. One cannot think about them without referring to the current strike organised by shebeen owners. Alcohol damages Namibian society - everybody agrees on that. Yet alcohol is also the only source of income for many poor Namibians who own or manage shebeens. How does one strike a balance? How does one protect children and women (often the victims of alcohol abuse) withour furthering poverty and depriving some households of their only source of income? This is a question that parliamentarians and decision-takers will have to answer soon. And the decisions the eventually take may well change the face of Namibia, for the better or for the worse. So let's keep our hopes up, as we wait to see how the government tackles this very difficult issue over the coming weeks and months.