‘Kava kills our young’ … Review team hears idea of year-long ban


The overconsumption of kava is one of the reasons our youths are dying young.

Roko Tui Colo Ratu Apenisa Kalokalo Loki said this to the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) review team during a consultation at Vunidawa, Naitasiri last Friday.

Speaking on behalf of the Qaranivalu, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, he said the issue should be urgently addressed.

“A lot of our people are dying young at the age of 30 or 40 years old,” Ratu Apenisa said.

“Some youths, who are only in their 20s have high blood pressure, and what is the cause of this?

“Most of the deaths of these young people are due to unhealthy eating habits but mostly the consumption of yaqona.”

He said the role of the GCC should be to set rules and regulations that would help address real-life issues faced by the iTaukei people, particularly the youths.

Ratu Apenisa said there should be a one-year nationwide ban on the consumption of yaqona by youths.

“One way to promote healthy living among our youths is cutting down on the consumption of yaqona.

“We should learn from the people of Vuda who observed a yaqona ban.”

He said it was disturbing to see both men and women drinking yaqona until the early hours of the morning.

“Now it’s not only the men but the women too who sit and drink yaqona.

“This is what’s contributing to the deaths of our youths. They drink grog until the morning and they don’t do any work, exercise or do farm work.”

Ratu Apenisa said given it was a traditional drink, people who were 50 years old and above could be exempted from the ban so that they took part in traditional events.

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