Fiji Village Bylaw Consultations Discuss Limiting Kava Consumption, Abuse

Excessive consumption, drinking of grog by women raised as issues of concern

By Serafina Silaitoga

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 15, 2017) – Yaqona (kava) consumption in villages has been abused and proposals have been made for stringent measures to address the issue including that of women's involvement in the practice.

The proposals, made at village bylaws consultations in the North, stirred grave concerns among traditional leaders and district reps.

Consultations in Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata over the past week heard there was an urgent need to limit grog consumption to certain age groups.

And if it was affecting women's household chores especially preparing children for school, then women should be banned from grog consumption.

Wainunu District rep Jale Sigarara said it was OK if women consumed grog, but excessive consumption should be stopped.

He said women could drink grog only at traditional functions.

Mr Sigarara proposed at the consultation in Nabouwalu on Monday that villagers under the age of 18 should be restricted from drinking grog.

He said men should also limit their time spent on drinking grog so they could have more family time.

District reps in Macuata also proposed that women be banned from grog consumption because children usually arrived late to school as mothers woke up late after consuming yaqona.

Labasa District rep Isoa Baleirotuma proposed that villagers be informed of the reasons for grog ceremonies.

He said the elders used to consume grog only during important meetings and it was never abused.

Village bylaws committee chairman Saimoni Waibuta assured that all concerns and proposals had been considered and would be confirmed when the iTaukei Afairs Board meets.

Fiji Times Online.
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