Burundi : uncontrolled high alcoholic beverages threaten the health of the population

Burundi : uncontrolled high alcoholic beverages threaten the health of the population

In the provinces of northeastern Burundi, notably Kayanza, Ngozi, Kirundo and Muyinga, drinks with high doses of alcohol are a source of permanent binge drinking among inhabitants who abuse them. These drinks which are bought at very low prices, according to the locals, are made in the province of Kayanza. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

A 10cl bottle of “Karibu” costs 500 Burundi francs while that of “Hozagara” of 30cl costs between 1200 and 1500.

“These prices are so affordable for us. I prefer this beer because it costs less”, says a resident met in the town center of Kayanza province.

According to some reports, Karibu and Hozagara, all made in Kayanza province, have an alcohol content of over 30%.

For the Karibu drink having a colorless color, some prefer to take it by mixing with lemon soda to try
to dilute the alcohol content, but there are others who take it dry.

“I prefer this beer because just one bottle intoxicates me”, testified a resident of Kagege village in the rural Kirundo zone.

This is also the case for consumers from Gatovu village, Munagano zone of ​​the district and Muyinga province.

Health consequences

Medical sources indicate that locals who take these drinks are at risk of illnesses related to malnutrition.

“When they are drunk, they often don’t eat. They lose their appetite and have no strength. So some show signs of malnutrition, especially the swelling of the cheeks, feet and stomach”, described a medical source.

Affected couples

Some women interviewed in the urban centers of Kayanza and Kirundo said that these drinks break up couples.

“My husband always comes home drunk and can’t eat the evening meal. If he doesn’t eat in the morning or during the day, he sleeps with an empty stomach and can’t even fulfill his marital duty”, testified a woman, in her forties.

Populations, especially women, are asking the administration to ban the manufacture of these drinks which are “destroying our households”. But who are to intervene, since witnesses report that even some of the administration authorities love it?

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