Authorities in Pece Division in Gulu town have launched a campaign to shut down bars that are involved in the improper disposal of waste from the brewing of the popular local alcohol, malwa.
Malwa is an alcoholic drink brewed from the fermented flour of maize, millet and sorghum. It is cheap and in high demand and it is not unusual to find groups of men gathered in bars drinking malwa as early as 11 a.m. in the morning.
However it is not the drinking habits of Gulu residents that are troubling the local authorities, but the hygiene at the bars and the manner in which the solid waste from the drink is disposed. Heaps of alcohol dregs are dumped along roads in Pece, Layibi and Kanyagoga, attracting millions of flies and spreading a purtrid smell.
Geoffrey Ouma, the chairperson of the environment and health committee in Pece Division, says complaints about the disposal of malwa waste are growing. He says the division has issued cautions to malwa brewers to dig compost pits to dispose their waste or risk the closure of their businesses.
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The brewers complain that they have no land to dig refuse disposal pits and there is no option but for them to dump the waste by the roadside.
Molly Lamwaka, a malwa brewer in Pece, says she rents a papyrus shade in which her bar is located for 75,000 shillings a month. She says her landlord has demanded for an additional 20,000 shillings for the rent of extra space for her to dump the waste.
Lamwaka asks for Gulu town to provide a central location where all alcoholic waste can be properly disposed.