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LC I Bans Use of Molasses for Distilling Alcohol

Beatrice Atim, another local distiller, says that the ban may force her into prostitution because she does not have any other business to run. Joel Okello a resident of Atego village says that although most people are not managing the waste very well, there are those who have managed the waste so well that you can’t even smell it.

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Thomas Odomoc, the Local Council one chairperson of Starch Factory B Cell in Lira City West Division has banned the use of molasses for distilling alcohol. Molasses is a viscous substance resulting from refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. In Starch Factory, it is a source of fermentable for locally brewed alcohol.

Thomas Odomoc, the area LC has now banned the sale and transportation of molasses in his area because of its stench and the negative impacts on the community. The women who use it do not only pour the residue. However, some of them leave the pit open, which poses a big threat to the children who play around the area. 

Odomoc says that the ban is geared towards promoting good hygiene and safety of children in Starch Factory B cell. He says that activity is a big threat to the lives of children as well as an inconvenience to the community because of the heavy smell.

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Joan Apio, a single mother of 4 and resident of the area who has been distilling alcohol for the last five years, says that molasses is their only source of livelihood and that they would rather have a new area LC I chairperson who understands that his people must survive.

“Then we rather have a new chairperson because distilling alcohol has helped us to pay school fees for our children, buying food and some of us has even built from the business so you can’t wake up and say we should not use molasses anymore. The truth is life will be very hard because there is nothing else I can do to take care of my family,” she said.

Beatrice Atim, another local distiller, says that the ban may force her into prostitution because she does not have any other business to run. Joel Okello a resident of Atego village says that although most people are not managing the waste very well, there are those who have managed the waste so well that you can’t even smell it.

According to Okello, these people should not be affected by the ban. “I have seen and I can take you to areas where people are distilling using molasses but you can hardly tell because they dig deep covered pits where the residue is poured and keep the surrounding environment so clean. You will only know that they are brewing after seeing the big drums they normally use for storing molasses. I think these kinds of people should not be stopped,” he said.

In 2007, Lira Municipal Council increased the tax on molasses with the aim of discouraging people from using it. The distillers increased simply embraced the tax and continued using molasses for distilling alcohol. Currently, distilling alcohol-using molasses is more concentrated in areas of Starch Factory B, Tesobar, and Kirombe in Lira City West and Ayago in Lira City East Division.

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