30 Dec 2008

Moderating Christmas period drinking beyond our control, says Samoan social worker

11:29 am on 30 December 2008

A Samoan social worker says little can be done to stop some people drinking too much alcohol over the Christmas period.

This follows the deaths of at least four people in Samoa in what police say were separate alcohol-related incidents.

Three were killed on Upolu and one on Savaii, and police say they have arrested and charged four people with manslaughter.

Saoliu Tupua of the anti-domestic violence NGO, Mapusaga o Aiga, says some people don't know when they've reached their alcohol intake limit, and it's beyond the ability of the community to stop them.

"If I see my next-door neighbours drinking, you know, I can only watch them. But if it gets too much and causes a lot of noises and all that then the next step I'll take is to call the police, that there are people here fighting. But I cannot interfere their own celebrations: especially when someone is under the influence of alcohol, even if you have to try and say it in a nice way, they'll always take it wrong."

Saoliu Tupua.