If you recall last week I did a post about Kenya’s Kill Me Quick Moonshine. It seems another African nation is having a similar problem. This time it’s Uganda, who according to Time Magazine, is having issues with a “methanol-laced version of a homemade banana gin known as waragi.
From Time’s The Battle to Stop Drink from Destroying Uganda:
Unregulated waragi accounts for nearly 80% of the liquor produced in the country, according to the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), which oversees production of legal products in the country. It doesn’t help that the alcohol is inexpensive and that the penalties for producing or selling it are ineffective. A tall glass of homemade waragi — usually made from bananas or cassava, millet or sugarcane — goes for about 25 cents, one-sixth the cost of the leading regulated brand.
While there are differences and similarities between the problems both countries are experiencing, it still seems it’s a failure of striking that balance between regulation, taxes and market forces. As we increasingly have to examine our own alcohol policies as the call for increased taxes continues, it’s useful, I think, to see how the rest of the world both effectively, and in these cases ineffectively, deal with finding that balance.