ARUA – Police in Arua Town have launched a crackdown against day-time drinking after a 22-year-old man on Tuesday died during a drinking competition in Aromo Sub-county.
Peter Olobo, a resident of Arwot-olaro village in Otara Parish, reportedly collapsed and died shortly after consuming six glasses of alcohol in less than three minutes during the dramatic competition on Tuesday.
Two other young men who also took part in the competition became unconscious and were rushed to a nearby clinic for treatment. They recovered hours later.
The Aromo Sub-county chairman, Mr David Elich, confirmed the incident.
He said Olobo went to a local bar called Diana Pub where he got his colleagues, John Ojok Oryema and Bonny Ocen Erong. They then put a bet of Shs5,000 each totalling to Shs15,000 which would be won by whoever managed to drink 10 glasses of Alcohol within 10 minutes.
“Olobo managed to drink six glasses before he fell on the ground and died while his colleagues also became unconscious and they were rushed to the nearby clinic and put on drip. They recovered hours later,” Mr Elich said on Wednesday.
This is the second time of such incident. “Last year, we lost a boy called Alex Okiba who entered into a drinking competition and died. They contested in drinking 12 sachets of chief waragi. Worst of all, these people drink on empty stomachs,” Mr Elich said.
He said the previous incident happened in Acan-to-ipur village in the same parish of Otara where there is high drinking rate among the youth.
The LCIII chairman said most people in the area have taken to alcoholism because of the redundancy caused by prolonged drought.
“At least if there was rain people would be busy digging in their gardens but now they have nothing to do apart from drinking,” he said.
He said sub-county security committee which he chairs has restricted drinking hours from 3 pm to 5 pm.
“Anybody found drinking outside that hour will be arrested because we want to avoid other deaths associated with heavy drinking of alcohol.”
The officer in charge of Aromo Police Station, Mr. Hudson Otee, said the operation will mainly target unproductive youth.
“We shall carry out an operation to arrest anybody found drinking at a time when they are supposed to do productive work. They will be charged with rogue and vagabond,” he said.