21 Nov 2011

Alcohol abuse serious problem for PNG's Lae

3:10 pm on 21 November 2011

Alcohol abuse has been identified as one of the contributing factors to a recent outbreak of fatal rioting in the Papua New Guinea city of Lae.

Ethnic clashes erupted earlier this month after youths unsuccessfully sought to present a petition to the Morobe provincial governor on rising crime and sexual assaults on women.

The Governor Luther Wenge has imposed a three-month liquor ban on shops in order to tackle an abuse problem which our correspondent, Oseah Philemon, describes as very serious.

"Particularly among the younger generation. These are unemployed guys who have no work and once they start drinking, they also smoke marijuana and they start trouble and we've had problems started simply by liquor abuse."

Oseah Philemon says illegal sales of alcohol in Lae are rife.