By: Hendrina Kanyolo
Deputy Chairperson of Southern Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) in Namibia, Rene Adams said that many children in Namibia are raised watching their parents or guardians consume alcohol, making it a norm and describing it as ‘scary’.
Adams was speaking at the No to Alcohol Day commemorated on 2 October annually. In remembrance of the day, SAAPA held an event at Lidar foundation conference room in Damara location on Saturday where they discussed the harmful effects of alcohol abuse focusing on the social , family and health impacts.
"Our kids are growing up with alcohol in their households with people coming from outside drinking there and that atmosphere is an atmosphere of harmfulness," remarked Adams.
Adams noted that Namibia has a 'drinking culture' and that people drink to get drunk instead of 'healthy drinking'. She added that the drinking in moderation concept needs to be inculcated in young children.
Adams who further highlighted the harmful effects of alcohol said the abuse leads to alcohol psychosis, assaults, road accidents, gender based violence (GBV) and family breakdown.
“The alcohol and drug abuse in the houses causes child abuse and child neglect. And it is a lot of cost for the family- emotionally. I have heard from many children- that time for examinations and they go to other houses and many things happen there... we are losing many young people with vision because they are abused at home," noted Adams
Fourteen-year-old learner from Havana Project secondary school, Johannes Shikulo, shared what he learnt from the event and shared his experiences with alcohol from his community.
“In our community I see a lot of people drinking, some of them use to play dice, some are young like me and some smoke hubbly and 'zol' and they say it is nice. They are influencing others to smoke. Some fight and kill each other because of alcohol, said Shikulo".