This is a commitment I wrote early last year to Youth Against Corruption Open Government Partnership Design a Commitment competition
- What is the issue of Governance that is affecting the young people?
The Production and Distribution of illegal brew, specifically steam (Fire Wara in Tok Pisin) by youths around the country. This is now a major issue in the rural and urban areas. The increase in the production, consumption and distribution of steam is a result of the increase in demand of the brew in communities around PNG. This has led to an increase in law and order issues causing disharmony in the communities. Most people engaged in this business are Youths age ranging from as early as 15 to 29 years old.
The issue that needs to be addressed is the Production and Distribution of “Steam”, without the product, we would not have consumers and vice-versa.
Without any formal education/job training and employment, most youths in our communities have turn to producing steam as a means of income, it’s a lot cheaper producing and the takings are thrice as much as the expenditure. A steam container in a 500ml coke bottle costs roughly around k15-k20. In one brewing, one can fill up at least 6-7 containers making around K100-K150 which is good money. You can make that amount in a day or two.
- How can the issue be solved?
Many approaches have been taken to solve the issue but have proven ineffective.
First method: Police been tasked to crack down and raid communities to confiscate and destroy the brewing equipment’s.
Second method: Youths have been asked to surrender their brewing equipment’s by the Community leaders before the presence of the Police.
These two approaches worked and was effective but for a while, after a month or so the youths revert back to producing steam again, this clearly shows that the two methods aren’t effective so a new solution has to be found for this issue.
When the Police raided the community to confiscate the brewing equipment’s and when the community Leaders asked the Youths to surrender their brewing equipment’s, they didn’t provide an alternate means of which the Youths can be involved in to earn money.
So the solution is to find alternate means of how Youths can earn money so they do not have to go back to brewing to make money. One solution that has been on my mind is sending Youths to the TVET Training centers. We can send the Youths through the help of Provincial government who will provide scholarships so the Youths can learn technical trades which guarantees them securing a job when they finish. They can also be taught in Small Medium Enterprises if they wish to start a small trade store with a startup capital.
When the Youths are no longer producing and distributing steam in the communities, we have less consumers because of low production of illegal brew thus we see a decrease in Law and Order issues in Communities. Communities enjoy peace and harmony when the Youths are actively engaged and kept busy.
- Who must be involved in solving the issue?
Community Leaders, Youth Groups, Provincial Government, LLG, Churches, National Youth Development Authority, Department of Community Development and Religion, Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.
- What steps can be taken to achieve your suggested solution?
First, we identify “all” the Youths in the communities who aren’t in school or have no formal employment. Then identify which of them are in the business of producing and distributing illegal brew. Separate the group and have a counselor or someone from the social services or community development department talk with the Youths about the consequences of their actions on how they contribute to the increasing law and order problems in the communities through the part they play in production and distribution of steam.
Then introduce to the solutions, tell them there are other means of earning an income. request funding from the Provincial Governor/local MP to help this disadvantaged Youths go to school and find formal employment with the help of NYDA and other organizations involved.
I just simplified the steps but it’s a bit complex.