29 Dec 2004

Community leaders in Solomon Islands ask for heavy penalties over kwaso

3:49 pm on 29 December 2004

Community leaders in the Solomon Islands province of North Malaita are calling on the government to fine and imprison people manufacturing an alcoholic drink called kwaso.

85 leaders from the villages between Arao and Matakwalao in North Malaita made the resolution that manufacturers of kwaso should be sentenced to three years imprisonment and fined more than 270 U.S. dollars.

The group, comprising chiefs and church leaders, says that kwaso causes many social problems in their area and authorities should impose severe penalties to curb the processing of the alcohol.

The leaders are also suggesting that the government ban the import of yeast, one of the main ingredients of the alchohol, into the country.

They also say that each tribal chief needs to control their own people and to report any involvement in the process of the drink.

The community leaders are urging the government to send a magistrate to Malu'u to deal with the cases reported to police since 2002.