I watching the news this afternoon and apparently South Africa is considering the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 years old and now Zambians are wondering if the government of Zambia should consider it as well. This got me thinking about alcohol abuse in Zambia and what age group is involved and from what i have observed, especially in the compounds, its the age group below the age of 18. So what should really be considered? Is it the legal drinking age or measures to reduce the abuse of alcohol by children under the age of 18? I spoke with the parent and elders of the community to find out what their grievances were as far as the matter is concerned and what measures the community and government should take in assuring that the abuse of alcohol by children in the community is reduced. Many parents especially the mothers raised some thought provoking points on how alcohol is affecting the community in an extremely negative way. Once intoxicated, children loose respect for their elders and become unmanageable, girls get sexually exploited causing unwanted pregnancies and dangerous backdoor abortions hence the ever increasing number of abandoned children. When i raised the question of what role the bar and liquor store owners play. The community had very strong sentiments and opinions about the bar and liquor store owners, according to one of the mothers and an elderly member of the community for many years, the bar owners are greedy and only think about their businesses and not the community at large, their only interest is to put more money in their pockets regardless of who buys the alcohol from their bars. Some members of the community pointed out how some women who are also mothers and house wives are actually encouraging their children because of their excessive drinking. The emphasis from the community to the government is to take immediate action and come up with ways in which to help the community tackle this fast escalating matter. This is a diverse matter that is affecting many communities nation wide in more ways than one negatively, taking to account the fact that today's children are tomorrow's future. In a nutshell, the abuse of alcohol by children in the community is the worrying truth and a reality for some parents which has a negative impact on the community of kaunda square stage 2 in Lusaka and the nation at large. The government is obliged to work with the community and do everything in their power to punish the perpetration who sell alcohol to children to the fullest extent of the law thus reducing and hopefully putting an end to the abuse of alcohol by children in the community.
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