Alcohol dependency remains a concern

28 June 2020 | Local News

Swakopmund • [email protected]

Erongo governor Neville Andre expressed his concern about the high level of alcohol dependency in the region.

He said that social workers have to do more to ensure residents in the region receive the needed psycho-social assistance, especially now.

“We need to start with engagements to discuss the excessive use of alcohol in our country. The same person who complains of hunger, runs to the bottle store to buy alcohol instead of food. It seems this problem is creating immense challenges for our households,” he said.

According to Andre, he would like to see social workers visiting fish factories and engage factory workers on psycho-social issues, which is also an effect of Covid-19.

Acting chief social worker for the ministry of health and social services (MoHSS) in the Erongo region, Audrey Gaes, said during a presentation that there are social workers available to help residents who are not able to cope with stress.

“If need be, we link those in need with professionals who provide mental health treatment. Sometimes, when people are stressed, they reach a point where their systems can only be helped with medical treatment. That is the result only if a person is unable to find other coping mechanisms,” Gaes said.

When Walvis Bay was still in Stage 1, there were several incidents of liquor smuggling. Of the 24 incidents of contravening lockdown regulations in a particular week, 21 were alcohol-related. This is based on statistics provided by the security cluster during the week when the Erongo region was still in Stage 1 of the lockdown.

When the Erongo region was shifted to Stage 3 of the lockdown, long queues were seen in front of bottle stores at the coastal towns. Some residents were observed purchasing trolleys full of liquor worth thousands of dollars.

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