Policy and Legislation Development and implementation
ILA has been involved in drafting and lobbying for the passing of Alcohol control Legislation.This process began as early as 2006, with critiquing proposed amendments to the now repealed Liquor Licensing Act under Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No.2) Bill 2005. This was presented to a public forum for debate.
The amendments proposed to bring traditional liquor under the Liquor Licensing Act and repeal the Traditional Liquor Act, so as to abolish several licenses and reduce the cost of doing business in Kenya. This however would have brought about several problems including:
- Increasing deaths from “new generation” alcoholic brews made from rectified spirits, methanol, formalin and other poisonous substances
- Promotion consumption of alcohol among children and youth due to the cheap and readily available new generation drinks which were low in price and had been packaged and marketed to them.
- Poor enforcement of already existing legislation to regulate the liquor industry in Kenya
- Increasing alcoholism among children, youth and adults with the resultant socio-economic effects
The proposed solutions then, included: Standards; Provision of guidelines to cover manufacturing, packaging, advertising and distribution of alcoholic beverages Licensing; Provision of economic empowerment, job creation and small business development by streamlining revenue collection through appropriate licensing regimes.
Penalties; Provision of deterrent and enforceable legal provisions for offenders based on the violator pays all principle.
Participation; Participation by all the stakeholders in the alcoholic beverages sector including and not limited to government agencies, manufacturers, local communities, civil society organizations through the holding of this public forum and the constitution of the regulatory mechanisms such as the regulatory authority and the liquor licensing courts, to incorporate the stakeholders representatives.
Education; Information and awareness – provision of continuous training and sensitization for consumers, communities and service providers on the harmful effects of alcohol abuse, and standards to be maintained, provide for public awareness on the need for organized access and use of recreational facilities for the youth
Rehabilitation; Provide for the establishment and maintenance of support structures for the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals affected by alcohol abuse
Enforcement Mechanism on Alcohol Control
Provision for an alcoholic beverages regulatory authority as a body corporate to be funded by the treasury and by fines imposed as penalties. This authority would be responsible for co-coordinating the regulation of the industry, advising the relevant ministries on policy and legislation and overseeing the above mentioned aspects of the law.
Members of the organisation participated in drafting the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act (2010); legislation to provide for the regulation of the production, sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks. Lobbying for the passage of the Act was conducted through various means, including media engagement and courtesy calls to various policy makers, as well as parliamentarians. Additionally, we are seeking to review the Draft National Alcohol Policy. Currently, ILA is lobbying for the passage of the Alcoholic Drinks Amendment Bill (2012) which seeks to deal with practical challenges in implementing the current Act.
Capacity Building on Alcohol Control
ILA is involved in the capacity building of different stakeholders in Alcohol Control; including the Government, Media and Civil Society. In 2010 ILA built the capacity of KAPA members on the various aspects of Alcohol Control, including the overview of the Act, rationale and monitoring implementation. In August and December 2012, working with KAPA members, we trained 90 Public Health Officers attached to the City Council in Nairobi County to enforce the various provisions of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act (2010). These trainings have raised the level of awareness on the provisions of the law and contributed to improved implementation and enforcement of the law.
Media Engagement on Alcohol Control
ILA considers media as a key player in alcohol control and has sought to generate positive media coverage in support of Alcohol Control in Kenya through print and electronic media houses. The organisation has been working with a network of media personalities by conducting courtesy calls, participating in interviews and securing news items as well as articles. This has helped in influencing positive and accurate reporting on Alcohol Control issues. ILA has also been involved in public education campaigns through strategic radio and television talk shows.
In order to monitor this coverage, ILA has conducted media monitoring; results of which have played a part in determining the strategies for engaging the media in Kenya. Also from monitoring, it has been observed that some journalists are influenced by the Alcohol Industry, and at times provide coverage in favour of them. Such have presented the opportunities for the organisation to respond and give a view from the alcohol control dimension.
Research on Alcohol Control
ILA is currently looking into conducting a situational analysis on Alcohol Control in Kenya, with an aim of using evidence based interventions such as price and tax policies as a strategy to further Alcohol Control.
Attendance in Conferences and Meetings on Alcohol Control
ILA members have attended various Alcohol Control meetings and conferences hosted by various institutions, such as those hosted by NACADA as well as The East Africa Conferences on Alcohol and has made significant contributions in the endeavors to control alcohol use in Kenya