At least 18 people have died after consuming crude waragi in Kosiroi mining site in Tapac Sub County, Moroto District, local authorities have said.
The authorities this week told Daily Monitor that the local potent gin is being transported to the mining site by drivers supplying Tororo cement with marble stone.
Mr Peter Lobot, the LC3 chairperson Tapac Sub County said that since January this year, over 18 people have already lost their lives due to over consumption of waragi.
He said their efforts to fight alcohol consumption has been undermined by the arrogant truck drivers who smuggle sachets of waragi to the mining site, as a sign of appreciation.
“They are very rude to us leaders in the Sub County when we try to stop them, we need the government’s upper hand so that we can save the lives of the local people,” he said.
Mr David Omido, the manager in charge of Logistic at Tororo cement limited promised to investigate the matter, saying Tororo cement does not encourage drivers to supply alcohol to the miners.
Mr Rewis Ilukol, the district health director Moroto District, confirmed that alcohol has killed 18 people since January, saying affirmative action is needed to address the situation.
“We are facing a serious challenge to stop alcohol consumption in Moroto District particularly, people take alcohol especially that one in the sachets, like tea,” he said.
The Mt. Moroto regional police Commander, Mr Richard Aruk Maruk, also confirmed that police get reports of people dying of alcohol.
He said from 2013 to 2016, over 70 people died due to alcoholism in the two districts of Moroto and Amudat.
He said the 70 people who died include the infants whose drunken mothers would sleep on unknowingly. He said alcoholism even fuel other in disciplines like, sexual harassment and domestic violence, among others.
According to Mr Aruk, although police have tried to contain the overflow of crude waragi in the region by arresting and prosecuting the dealers, the main challenge remains on the sachet one which he said people pockets it as they drink.