DARE SALAAM – Tanzania plans to carry out a major crackdown on producers, importers, distributors and consumers of alcoholic beverages packed in plastic sachets.
This is part of the Tanzanian government’s move to enforce the ban on the sachet-packed liquor, which came into effect on Wednesday under two ordinances: the National Environment Management 2004 and Intoxicating Liquors Act, 1968 and its 2012 amendments.
“The operation to enforce the ban on production, sale, and use of alcohol packed in plastic sachets will be carried out all over the country from March 2, this year, through safety and security committees and environmental protection committees at regional, district, division, ward, village and Mtaa levels,” said January Makamba, Tanzania’s Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office for Union Affairs and Environment.
He added: “These committees are required to submit their report during and after the operation to the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) and copy to the Vice President’s Office.”
The operation is likely to be a showdown because since the notice of the ban was issued, businesses depending on sachet-packed alcohol and their customers were caught between the rock and a hard place.
Most of the Tanzania’s shops have huge stocks of the product that they will have to dispose of to obey the law.
On the other hand, customers of the sachet-packed liquor customers will have to climb the ladder to comparatively expensive bottled liquors.
Whereas the cheapest sachet-packed liquor retail at 500 Tanzanian shillings (0.22 U.S. dollar), the cheapest bottled liquor goes for 3,500 Tanzanian shillings (1.57 dollars).
And manufacturers of the sachet-packed liquor who needed time to adjust to bottling technology were recently directed to apply for a temporary license.
On February 17, Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the government would with effect from March 1, not allow producers to use sachets to pack hard drinks.
Source: Alleastafrica and agencies