Dar es Salaam. Alarm has been sounded over the increasing number of teenagers consuming alcohol in Tanzania.
A new report has established that children as young as 14 years, and sometimes below were consuming alcohol or other types of brew.
This is according to the 2014 Baseline Survey on the Extent of Alcohol Consumption and Abuse released yesterday by the Tanzania Media Women’s Association (Tamwa).
The report shows that 38 per cent of respondents in July this year, in Kinondoni municipality, started drinking before reaching 18 years of old.
The report says that 11.8 per cent start at the age of 14 while 26.5 per cent started below 17 years. According to the report, this is due to easy access to alcohol joints which are found near their households. It says 63 per cent of those interviewed said that they could access alcohol less than 100 steps from their homes, while others confirmed that the availability of alcohol inside their houses has contributed to them starting consumption.
Speaking during the launch, the chief researcher, Dr Severine Kessy, said the report aimed at assessing how alcohol consumption triggered gender-based violence.
The study has discovered that children are the most vulnerable group. They are abused by alcohol consumers.
“The survey indicates that 58.9 per cent of children interviewed confirmed to have been beaten by men who have taken alcohol more than the 57.6 per cent of married women. This shows how alcohol is affecting children,” said Dr Kessy.
The report has also revealed that alcohol consumption differs from people according to their education levels with 80 per cent of interviewed university graduates confirming that the consumed alcohol.
However, the report says 48 per cent of the respondents who use alcohol have called for action to reduce consumption.
“What we have discovered is that there is so much awareness on alcohol effects but people are still drinking. Campaigns, against alcohol consumption should be carried out,” Dr Kessy said