by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV News, Lae
Lae district is working with churches to combat homebrew (steam) consumption and production in places identified as hot spots.
They have identified Boundary Road and Sialum settlement as two troubled areas.
Lae MP, Loujaya Kouza, says to take away steam from communities would mean giving alternative income sources to those who cook and sell.
“When you take away steam, you will need to give back an alternative income source to the people,” said Kouza.
“We are going to help them produce something legal from the same equipment they use to cook steam.”
Amidst the growth of business in the Lae district is a darker side, the recurring case of serious crimes.
Last year, in October, at the Boundary Road and Sialum settlement, more than 50 houses were burnt and four people were killed in a fight that lasted for three months.
The root cause of the fight was allegedly homebrew consumption.
“Our intervention is we want to conduct a preach and build with the help of the body of Christ in Lae (Church) and identify youths that are involved,” said Kouza.
Reportedly, nine out of 10 cases reported to Lae Police daily directly result from alcohol consumption.
The Lae District Administration is partnering with different stakeholders to deal with the problem.
Women’s groups and churches are getting involved to identify troubled youths and change their mindsets.
“We met with women from Sialum, Eastern Highlands and Kabwum at the AOG (Assemblies of God) Church in Eriku,” Kouza stated.
But they’ll need support from all levels of government, including agencies tasked to deal with drug offenders.
Last week, Deputy Opposition Leader and Bulolo MP, Sam Basil, had similar problems in his district drawing attention to the National Narcotics Bureau.