The East African Regional Forum on Prevention and Treatment of Drugs and Alcohol
that was organized by the World Federation against Drugs in collaboration with Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL), International Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations (IFNGO), Slum Child Foundation, Students' Campaign Against Drugs (SCAD), People Against Drug Dependence and Ignorance (PADDI), Drug Free American Foundation Inc and the Carlton Hall consulting LLC and held from Tuesday 4th -6th February 2020. The workshop was hosted at Nyumbani Hotel in Kampala Uganda.
We appreciate the invited speakers who came to Kampala-Uganda from more than 5 countries, as well as the nearly 60 people who participated in the intensive three days of discussions.
The representative from World Federation Against Drugs, informed the participants that WFAD is a multilateral community of non-governmental organisations and individuals. He stated that the work of WFAD is built on the principles of universal fellowship and basic human and democratic rights. WFAD has around 250 member organizations over the world, in all continents. Ms. Regina Mattson added that WFAD’s partners are in the field of advocacy, prevention, care, harm reduction as part of a chain, treatment and recovery with the joint aim to work towards a drug-free world.
Mr. Esbjorn who joined the meeting via a skype call thanked the participants for attending the forum and informed them that they should use the forum to share expertise, discuss success stories they have, to discuss failures and how to change the world because NGOs are needed in society. He further informed the members that in a couple week Commission of narcotic and drugs will meet in Vienna and will be attended by ambassadors, ministries and other actors to discuss issues especially on legislation. He called upon the members to stand united, those in prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery not to forget the mission. Always continue how to engage with governments because they are responsible for the people
Esbjorn added that apart from the United Nation Conventions on Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, the work of WFAD is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Participants were informed that according to the new 10 years strategic plan WFAD will include two new subjects:
- Women’s specific situation
- Children and Convention on Rights of a Child (CRC)
Mr. Rogers Kasirye, the Executive Director Uganda Youth Development Link emphasized the importance of engagement with other stake holders in field of fighting drugs, he called upon CSOs to utilize the various platforms available and he stated that governments have now realized the importance of NGO work in improving the livelihood of the community especially in prevention because they believe treatment is expensive and given that 80% of the African population is young, prevention strategies are the best.
Dr. David Kalema made a presentation about the experiences of the East Africa Alcohol Policy alliance
(EAAPA). In his speech, he noted that the East African counties are among the heaviest alcohol consumers on the African continent. The current alcohol crisis is not unique to Uganda as the entire Sub Saharan Africa battles alcohol harm. He informed participants that there is a general consensus that alcohol misuse is more prevalent nowadays due to a combination of factors such as the type of alcohol, altered production and consumption patterns, wider availability, and changing cultural practices and social control mechanisms. The consumption of alcohol in pre-colonial times was characterized by low alcohol by volume beer and wines (2-4%), which were fermented from food products.
Also, alcohol was produced in particular seasons and in many cases only used for traditional rituals and
Reserved for respected elders. Drinking occurred in the homesteads during weekends and holidays and waslargely ceremonial, emphasizing the ritual rather than intoxication. The drinking terrain drastically changed with the commercialization of alcohol and to date we are witnesses to unregulated production and unethical promotions to lure among others; the young generation into alcohol use.
The difference between Uganda and other countries in the same region lies in policy response. Our neighbors such as Kenya, Zambia, Lesotho, South Africa have initiated control measures in terms of legislating use of alcohol. This calls for urgent attention on part of Uganda to follow suit and strongly come out to institute similar initiatives. It is against this background that UAPA has organised this stake holders’ forum to come up with a united front to this challenge. UAPA is a network organisation with a mission “To provide a platform for individuals and civil society organizations to contribute to policy and processes on regulation of alcohol production, distribution and consumption to prevent alcohol related harm among the Uganda population”. UAPA’s membership is open to members of the civil society who are interested in alcohol prevention and control; provided they are not connected to the alcohol industry. UAPA is a member of a bigger global move; Global and Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) and East African Alcohol Policy Alliance (EAPA) and has for the last couple of years been an active participant in the activities of the above associations where we have learnt the important role played by policy in mitigating alcohol problems. We have learnt that Sub-Saharan African is the new battle ground for alcohol producing companies and countries like Uganda with a combination of a growing economy coupled with a young population and high consumption levels presents strategic location and economic interests for the industry. Legislation is the cheapest and most effective way of controlling alcohol harm. To achieve her mission EAPA undertakes several advocacy, awareness and membership capacity building activities.
Mr. Eze Eluchie shared about the importance of harmonizing regional groupings especially for East Africa which can be used lobby for better policies within the region giving reference to their West African network for CSO on substance abuse. He stressed that the End goal of the Regional should be to impact on policy within the East African Community. However, he advised that the network needs to be driven by the goal not self-greed. He advised that their need to be consistence in doing business in order not to set adrift from the gaol and the network should be guided by the vision of WFAD.
He also shared that the members can come up and sign on a joint outcome document to be presented to the policy makers within the region such that efficacy of the network is felt. The network can also be used as platform to build capacity of the different CSO’s with the region and also information sharing among the neighbor such that what is done in one country and is very good can be replicated as a best practice in another country.
Overall the Forum was a success and a lot of recommendations were made to address the world drug problem.
List of participants
No Name Organisation Country
- Augusto Nogueira IFNGO Malaysia
- Regina Mattison WFAD Sweden
- Juliet Namukasa International AidServices Uganda Uganda
- Gladness Munud CRC Tanzania
- Zainabu Makombe HCT Tanzania
- Hellen Alice Nondi FOHTC Kenya
- Eliphas Were KEYNET Kenya
- Okello Chrispine Child Space Organisation Kenya Kenya
- Jane Mwangi Willing Way Recovery Center Kenya
- Nalumansi Sumayiya Kawempe Youth Development Uganda
- Ngozi Nwankwo Daniel Nunsaulo Foundation Nigeria
- Anguria Michael Saf-Teso Uganda
- Lydia Agemo Manu Willing Foundation Ghana Ghana
- Kikome Ruth Recovery Solutions Uganda
- Water Auma SCAD Kenya
- Masitula Kisakye UGGA Uganda
- Wanyana Mary Winty UNACOH Uganda
- Tumwikiriza Apollo Trust Future Uganda Uganda
- Mugume Eliab Brotherhood Restoration Uganda Uganda
- Siboniyo Elias Community Out Reach Burundi Burundi
- Micheal Marwa C-Sema Tanzania
- Carlton Hall CHC USA
- George Ochieng Slum Child Foundation Kenya
- Phaedon Kaloteraus WFTC Greece
- Nabulya Anna UYDEL Uganda
- Billy Batware UNODC Austria
- Mpyangu Denis Swanyi Nansana CollisionAgainst Drugs Uganda
- Sempiira Edward Life Back Foundation Uganda Uganda
- Nassanga Margaret UAPA Uganda
- Carol Mulyowa Hope And Beyond Uganda Uganda
- Catherine Boyane Nakuru Drop In Center Cbo Kenya
- Mildred Auma Kisimu Disab S H Group Kenya
- Rontaear Tad Conter Pointer Usa
- Sushma Taylor Wftc Usa
- Nakijoba Barbara UYDEL Uganda
- Winnie Kimera Somero Uganda Uganda
- Bbale Drake Thamsone CAYEL Uganda
- Nanziri Immaculate UYDEL Uganda
- Ssewali Mark UYDEL Uganda
- Brian Mugo Csa YAADSA CBO Kenya
- Sammy Gachary Daac International Kenya
- Mutawe Rogers UYDEL Uganda
- Jumba Bem Kfm Uganda
- Muyingo Joseph Delta Tv Uganda
- Nicholas Kajoba Nzirision Uganda
- Musoke Twaha EYDI Uganda
- Katongole Isa Nansana Childrens Center Uganda
- Muhammad Wammala Salt Media Uganda
- Gibson Johnson UYDEL Sweden
- Elin Awidsson UYDEL Sweden
- Sarafehn Syler UYDEL Sweden
- Josephine Nakibuuka Fight Drug Abuse Uganda
- Felicia Nyngayen UYDEL Sweden
- Namubiru Grace Record Tv Uganda
- Assimwe Dorcus Nina Olugero Foundation Uganda Uganda
- Ddumba Lawrence Nbs Tv Uganda
- Mayanja Joseph Delta Tv Uganda
- Paul Mugamba Delta Tv Uganda
- Saidat Namusoke Ubc Tv Uganda
- Lydia Kyomukama Ubc Tv Uganda
- Sarah Maziwe New Vision Uganda
- Ziraba Muzale Davidi Capital Fm Uganda
- Batte Andrew UYDEL Uganda
- Eze Elucluie PADDI Nigeria
- Richard Shilamba Cheso Tanzania
- Paul Kogi Mburu Sober life Society Kenya
- Lubega Andrew UYDEL Uganda
- Kasirye Rogers UYDEL Uganda