Illicit Liquor Trade Threatens Future of Malawian Youths, Sparks Concerns
"The future of most Malawian youths is at risk as illicit liquor selling is growing like uncontrollable wildfire," warns a concerned citizen.
Lilongwe, Malawi - Illicit liquor sales are spreading rapidly in Malawi, raising concerns about the future of the nation's youth, writes Christopher Jimu.
Despite government efforts to curb drug and alcohol abuse, these substances are easily accessible, particularly in townships across Lilongwe.
With limited employment opportunities for many youths upon completing their education, they often turn to these cheap and readily available drinks, jeopardizing their future.
This trend is not limited to the younger generation, as some older individuals also engage in heavy drinking, risking their health and marriages.
Nelson Zakeyu, Executive Director of Drug Fight Malawi, emphasized the negative impact of drug and substance abuse on society.
He stated, "Drug and substance abuse is the biggest causative agent of social unrests and family squabbles. If someone is drunk, he does not think properly, and it leads to abuses. Children lose direction because of drugs, and some have died because of overdoses."
Reports have also linked the increased use of these substances to rising mental health issues.
Spot checks in various townships across Lilongwe and other districts suggest that the proliferation of "dzikhuthe" (illegal liquor) is a major source of the availability of marijuana and illicit liquor.
While Chamba, a narcotic drug, is banned by the government, its sale remains open and widespread, even in Lilongwe's City Centre.
Kachasu, a locally distilled liquor, which was banned during the era of the first President of Malawi, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, has seen a resurgence due to the advent of multi-party politics.
The affordability of these products makes them easily accessible, with some individuals able to get drunk for as little as K200.
Many young people, like Bright from Lumbadzi, turn to these substances during their free time due to a lack of other recreational options.
The consequences of this trend are dire, with reports of individuals dying from excessive consumption of Kachasu without eating.
Recently, a young man in Area 24 allegedly died from drinking too much Kachasu without having a proper meal.
The proliferation of dangerous substances calls for urgent government intervention to protect the younger generation and address the societal consequences of illicit liquor sales.
Without action, Malawi risks losing a significant portion of its next generation to the harmful effects of substance abuse.