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‘Killer’ liquor sachets banned in Zambia

 INSP 27 August 2019

In a move to crackdown on alcohol abuse, Zambia’s government has banned the manufacture and sale of liquor in small plastic sachets commonly known as ‘Tujilijili’. Cheap, widely available and easily concealed, these popular ‘killer sachets’ are blamed for an increase in alcohol dependency amongst young adults and poor communities. (1052 Words) - By Jorrit Meulenbeek and David Mwanza

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A young man sipping a sachet of tujilijili in Chaisa compound, Lusaka, Zambia. Officially he risks a two-year prison sentence by doing this, as these sachets containing hard liquor have now been banned.Photo: Jorrit Meulenbeek

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Empty sachets of tujilijili are still found everywhere on the streets of Lusaka, even now the drink has been banned traders still finish their supplies in secret. The sachets had one thing in common: an alcohol percentage of over 40 percent.Photo: Jorrit Meulenbeek

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Drinking during the day is one of the favourite pastimes of Lusaka’s unemployed youth, who often use alcohol to escape the bleak realities of everyday life.Photo: Jorrit Meulenbeek

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Harry Kalad brewing kachasu in a shed next to his home. This traditional distilled spirit was popular before tujilijili took over. Now the sachets have been banned, Kalad’s business is booming again.Photo: Jorrit Meulenbeek

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Harry Kalad’s improvised kachasu brewery in a shed next to his house. While this is officially illegal, police does little to enforce the law on brewers like him. They probably know that people like Kalad support a large family from this business and would be left with few alternatives.Photo: Jorrit Meulenbeek

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Buying booze by the bottle is more expensive than buying tujilijili, but with a group of friends most youth who choose to drink can still manage.Photo: Jorrit Meulenbeek

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While Zambia does not rank up there with the top alcohol-consuming countries, alcoholism is a big social problem here. Research shows drinking behavior is often irresponsible and contributes heavily to road accidents, domestic violence and unsafe sex.Photo: Jorrit Meulenbeek

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While Zambia does not rank up there with the top alcohol-consuming countries, alcoholism is a big social problem here. Research shows drinking behavior is often irresponsible and contributes heavily to road accidents, domestic violence and unsafe sex.Photo: Jorrit Meulenbeek


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