1.1 Background of the study

In many parts of the world, drinking alcoholic beverages is a common feature of social gathering. Nevertheless, the consumption of alcohol carries a risk of adverse health and social consequences related to its intoxicating toxics. However, there are different kinds of alcoholic beverages such as Beer, Wine, Champaign and Spirits.

The world health organization (2004), estimated that there are about 2 billion people who consume alcoholic beverages and 76.3million with diagnosable alcohol use disorders. The role of alcohol in societies cannot be downplayed. For instance, in countries such as Italy France and many east European countries alcohol is consumed ordinarily at table as part of diet. Thus alcohol use varies depending on an individual’s social, cultural and religious background.   

According to Ghana Organization on Foett alcohol syndrome (2009), estimates the per-capita consumption of alcohol is one point five (1. 5) liters which is about seven million (7, 000000) gallons of alcohol consumed annually. These litres when quantified in monetary terms cause serious economic losses to the individuals and the nation at large. Also, more males than females are affected by excessive intake of alcohol, but drinking among the young and women is increasing (Ghana Medical Report 2002). It has also been shown that, among the men who drink there is little difference in their alcohol consumption, in terms of education, wealth and urban – rural residence, as with women, men who are employed 41% are more likely to drink alcohol than men who are not employed 9%, but the difference is considerably larger for men (Ghana demographic and health survey 2008).

 Upper West of which Wa township is part have come into the spotlight as a leading consumer of alcohol, it became imperative for a study to be conducted to come out with the effect it has on the people. Much emphasis will laid on the income implications it has on the people,

Household income is the measure of the combined incomes of all people sharing a particular place of residence. Also, is money which is available to household for consumption.  

1.2 problem statement

The consumption of alcohol affects a broad cross section of societies around the world. Alcohol dependence touches successful business executives, skilled mechanics, laborers’ church members of all denominations and even homemakers.

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem in many countries and is of increasing concern in Ghana. Alcohol consumption is considered one of the highest risk factor for death and disabilities. Potential consequences of alcohol abuse include increased risk of accidents, hypertension, psychological illness and congenital malformations. Moreover alcohol consumption aggravates the risk of family problems as well as social and employments issues. Manning (1991), indicates that absenteeism is significantly increased because of heavy drinking and that there may be as high as 40% increase in absenteeism due to heavy drinking. From this, one can see how alcohol has effect on employment as Berry et al (1977), Opines that problems drinkers and the households in which they reside have lower incomes than households in which no problem drinkers reside .Some evidence exist that alcohol abuse and dependence decrease the probability of being employed, especially the probability of being employed full time (Benham, et al 1999).          

Alcohol drinking in Wa Township is a means of relaxation from a hard day’s work and as people continually engage themselves in the act of relaxation they in turn get addicted to alcohol.    The Ghana Demographic Health Survey (2008) indicated that, Upper West Region was noted to be the highly consumed alcoholic beverage in Ghana. Given the above assertion, alcohol consumption has serious implication on occupation and income levels cannot be left out. It is for this reason that the study seek to examine the effects of Alcohol consumption on household income in Wa Township and to propose appropriate mechanisms to help households to reduce the amount of money spent on alcoholic beverages

1.3 Research Questions  

What are the effects of alcohol consumption on household income in Wa Municipality or township?

Specific Research Questions

  1. What are the types of alcoholic beverages consumed in Wa Township?
  2. What time and how frequent do they consume alcohol?
  3. How does alcohol consumption affect productivity?
  4. What is the amount of income spent on alcoholic beverage?

1.4 Research Objectives

The main research objective is to examine the effects of alcohol consumption on household income in Wa Township. The specific research objectives are:

  1.  To examine the type of alcoholic beverages consumed in Wa Township.
  2. To analyze the frequency and times of alcohol consumption.
  3. To find out how alcohol consumption affect productivity   
  4.  Investigate the amount of income spent on alcoholic beverages.

1.5 Justification of the Study  

The study seeks to explore the relationship between alcohol consumption and household income in Wa Township.  Also, the findings will help government, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations to formulate effective policies on alcohol beverages in order to sustain household income. It will also help alcohol consumers to accept and appreciate its effects on the household income. The study will also serve as a reference for further research work. Finally, the study will enable the research team to graduate successfully.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study covered the entire Wa municipality specifically it township and how alcohol consumption affect household income.

1.7 Research Methodology

1.7.1 Sources of data Primary Sources Questionnaire

Structured questionnaires with few open ended questions were administered to fifty (50) respondents in Wa Township. The fifty (50) questionnaires were administered to alcohol consumers. The questionnaires covered issues such as socio-economic background of respondents, types of alcoholic beverages consumed and amount of income spent on alcohol. Interviews

The study made good use of face to face interviews with alcohol consumers’ beer bar operators and spouses of the consumers in Wa Township in order to get the right data from our target group. A total of three (3) interviews were conducted throughout the study. The respondents for the interview were purposively selected base on their knowledge on the topic. Interviews were conducted with beer bar operators, consumers of alcoholic beverages, households and alcohol distributors. The interview covered issues such as occupation, monthly income, the type of alcoholic beverage distributed and the amount of income spent on alcohol. Focus Group Discussion

Two focus group discussions were held to clarify some of the issues discussed during the interview session. This was conducted by holding two separate discussions with the respondents since doing it once may not give the team a clearer picture of what the research in turns to achieve. It was targeted at distributors, consumers and opinions. Secondary sources                                                           

Secondary data were sourced from reports of Ghana Health Service, Population and Housing Census, report books, articles, internet, journals and Wa Municipal Assembly Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP). Sampling Techniques Snowball Sampling

Snowball sampling was used to select the alcohol consumers, because it was difficult in identifying them. The research team identified one alcoholic beverage consumer who then   led us in identifying other alcohol beverage consumers; this was done with the help of a questionnaire. Purposive Sampling

Purposive sampling was used to select beer bar operators to gather relevant information on the different alcoholic beverages that they sell. Techniques for data analysis

The data generated from the field was analyzed using excel. The quantitative data was processed into statistical tables and charts for interpretation and discussion. The data from focus group discussion and interviews were analyzed using content analysis .Various responses have been put together and a holistic approach adapted to draw the necessary and relevant conclusions from the information gathered for the study. 

1.8 Organization of the study

The report has been organized into five (5) Chapters. Chapter one consist of the background of the study, problem statement, research questions, objectives of the study, justification of the study and research methodology. The next chapter entails the profile of the study area. Chapter three (3) reviews relevant literature on the research topic. Chapter four (4) encompasses presentations and discussions. Finally, chapter five (5) presents summary conclusion and recommendations to the study.

                                                   CHAPTER TWO


2.1 Location

The Wa municipality is one of the nine (9) district/municipal assemblies that make up the Upper West Region of Ghana.

The Wa municipality assembly shares administrative boundaries with Nadoli district to the North, the Wa East district to the East and South and Wa West district to the South. It lies within latitude 140N to 245N and longitude 932 to 120W.

2.2 Geology

The main types of rocks found within the municipality are predominantly pre-Cambrian, granite and metamorphic rocks that has lesser weathering due to low rainfall, high ever po-transpiration and less vegetation. The rocks are also said to have mineral deposits and this promote prospecting for goal and galamsey activities with their negative socio-economic and environmental impacts.

2.3 Relief and drainage

The municipality lies in the savanna high place, which generally, is gentle undulating with an average height between 160m above sea level. The low lying areas are found in the following localities; Charia, Zingo Kperisi etc. This low lying areas have further given rise to two main drainage systems, the Sing-Bakpong and it tributaries to the South and Belli and its tributaries to the North.

2.4 Climate

 The municipality has two major seasons namely the wet and dry seasons. The south western winds from the atlantic oceans brings rains between April and October, whiles the north eastern trade winds from the sahara desert bring the long dry season between November and March. The mean annual rainfall varies between 840mm and 1400mm. Most of the rainfall occurs between June and September and is generally low and unreliable both in its timing and duration.

The vegetation is the guinea savanna grass land type, made up of short trees with little or no canopy and shrubs of varying heights with grass ground cover in the wet season. Commonly occurring trees are Shea, Dawadawa, Kapok and Baobab trees. Cashew and mango are exotic species grown well in the area but some of the natural vegetations are disappearing due to human activities in the form of cultivation, construction and bush fires.

2.6 Urban Land use Management

The municipality has good arterial road network linking already demarcated sectors which can be classified into first class, second class and third class using the following set of criteria: availability of approved layout, good and orderly development, availability of social-economic facilities etc.

The first class residential areas cover four (4) sectors: Airport residential area, part of Dzudedayiri, Degu residential area etc. The Zongo and the Kabanye is the only sector identified as fourth class residential area.

2.7 Population Size

According to the 2000 population and housing census, the population of Wa municipal assembly stood at 98,675. The growth rate of the municipality varies between 2.7 for rural and 4.7 for urban. As at 2006 the municipality population was estimated to be 119,387 (male: 57,985 and female: 61,402).

2.8 Ethnicity

Majority of the people in the municipality belong to one lineage, the Mole Dagbani group. The Waalas are the indigenous people whiles the Dagaabas are the populous. There have being considerable inter marriage between the Waalas, Dagaabas and the Sissalas. This has removed language barriers to the matter of linguistically and semantic variations especially between the Waalas and the Dagaabas.

2.9 Religion

There are three main religious groupings in the municipality namely Christianity, Islam and Traditionalists. They co-exist peacefully though differences exist between them.

2.10 Literacy Rate

Literacy rate in the Municipality is generally lower than the national average; there are more literates among men than women. The reason is not only socio-cultural but also biological because females tend to drop out of school due to pregnancy and early marriages.               Whiles about seven (7) out of ten (10) males can be said to be literate only about four (4) out of every ten (10) females are literate.

2.11 Economic Activities

The major economic activities engaged by the people within the Wa municipality are Pito brewing, shear butter extraction, charcoal production, petty trading with some few people working in the formal sector mostly in the health and the teaching field (Public Service).

                                                   CHAPTER THREE



This chapter critically examines the impact of alcoholism on household income in Wa municipality. The chapter is divided into four sections, Alcohol and income, Alcohol and Family, Alcohol and   health and finally Religious and social perspective on alcohol.

3.2 Alcohol and Income

Rice et al (1985:605), notes that there is reduced production among members of the labour force due to drinking which cost the United State economy more than 34 billion dollars or 39% of the 86 billion dollars in total cost each year. Most of these are due to absenteeism, accident and inefficiency. About 8 billion dollars go to pay for medical problem by people who suffer as a consequence of drinking including the treatment of alcoholism. Although Rice looked at the effects of alcohol consumption on the economy but failed to point out its implication on the family. Because absenteeism, accident and inefficiency may lead to low productivity, which may lead to low income and subsequently job loss. When this happens, the standard of living of alcohol dependant family will fall. NIAAA (1989:129-30), opines that alcohol beverage consumers have twice the rate of work absenteeism than other workers and cause many problems at work.

 Having financial difficulties is another issue families of alcoholics have to deal with; the family may have forgone certain privileges because the last amount of money is spent on alcohol and possible jobless.

3.2 Alcohol and Family

The role of the family in the socio-economic development of a society cannot be over looked. For instance, it is through the family that procreation takes place. It also plays enculturation roles and socialization functions and also provides security for members when the need arises. But studies have shown that alcohol consumers often shirk their responsibilities. To support this, Oaklay (1973:3-5) and Schunkit (1989:301), agree that alcoholism is the consumption of alcohol at a level that produce serious personal, social or health consequences such as marital problems, occupation difficulties, accident and arrest.

Assiamah et al (2002:9), have come out with rates of drunk driving among drivers in Ghana, they found out that rate of alcohol impaired drivers blood concentration (BAC) 80mg/dl, these drivers ranged from 30% and 53% similar to values reported from the United State of America in the past few decades. Presently, the USA has been able to address the menace through law enforcement such as arrest and prosecution to prevent people from drunk driving. A desire which still eludes in Ghana, her quest to address the problem of drunk driving. Also a recent road side breathalyzer survey in Ghana showed that 7.3% of 722 randomly selected drivers had a BAC ≥ 80mg/dl. The 7.3% rate in developed countries is notably higher than the rate of 0.4% to 3.4 %. in similar study in developed countries. Interestingly, in the Ghanaian environment with the predominance of commercial rather than private vehicles, 64% of intoxicated drivers were commercial drivers including taxi, bus and truck drivers. It implication on the family can be very devastating since family members lose dear ones in motor accidents. It is very devastating especially when the victim involved is the breadwinner of the family. Besides this, other family issued such as domestic violence leading to divorce, neglect of family leading to school dropout, child delinquency which results from the irresponsible behavior of parent who consume alcoholic beverages. The disgrace that families who consume alcohol beverages go through in society is another consequence that the family has to grapple with. They usually face stigmatization in society and as a result they are not able to associate and integrate into society or canceled outright.

Parents who consume alcoholic beverages find it very difficult in bringing up their children. Many of these children have characteristics such as guilt, low self esteem, loneliness, feeling of helplessness, fear which can lead to chronic depression (Berger, 1993). Children of those who consume alcohol may feel responsible for the problems of their parent(s) and may think they created the problems; also children of alcohol consumers often experience high level of tension and stress. They also may not have friends and may be afraid to go to school because friends may reject them and sometime make mockery of them. Silvertein (1990:75), also notes that children of alcohol consumers feel they are different from others and develop a poor self image in which they closely resemble their parents.

Parsons (203:1-2), opines that children of alcohol consumers often have problems in school. The stressful environment at home prevents them from studying .This means that their performance at school may be affected by their inability to express themselves. Often they tend to have difficulties in establishing cordial relationship with teachers and classmates. Such children are often victims of repeating their academic years which consequently lead to school dropout.

The US government survey on Exposure to Alcoholism in the family revealed that 30% of young women who did not complete high school had grown up in families of alcoholic parents (Berger, 1993:75). The same survey show that 20% of young men from alcoholic families went to College. This shows that the remaining 80% have not been able to make their way to College.

Parsons (2003), noted that some children of alcoholics have behavioral problems as lying, stealing, fighting and truancy. These children live in extremely unstable home environments and never know what to expect from their alcoholic parents. Because they are unable to predict their parent’s mood, they don’t know how to behave themselves. But this is not always the case because children have grown from alcoholic home but they have not become liars, truants, thieves and belligerents.

The team is of the view that crime and violence are associated with alcoholic beverage consumers incest and battering is common in alcoholic home. According to Berger, almost 30% of father daughter incest cases and 75% of domestic violent cases involved a family member who is an alcohol consumer. Incest and battering victims often blame themselves and resort to drinking as way to escape the pain. Children of alcohol consumers are people who are robbed of their childhood (Silvertein 1990:75) this means that they may have serious psychological repercussions.

Alcohol intake also has negative effects on the spouse of alcohol consumers. The spouse may have become physically or mentally ill (Berger, 1993). Very often the spouse has to perform the roles of both parents and as a result, the non alcohol consumer parent is inconsistent and often neglects the children.

Barron (1988:41-44), What has increased is alcohol abuses among the young particularly the adolescent According to the American council for drug education (ACDE) at least 10,000 elementary school children report getting drunk on a weekly basis, similarly a recent study of high school student shows that one third of respondents reported getting drunk during the two weeks preceding the survey, many authorities have attributed child drunkenness to genetic and hereditary factors.

Neubeck  and Neubeck  (1997.598.9), noted that a great deal of research has been conducted to test the hypothesis that alcoholism is linked to the biological make up of particular individuals and that some researchers have the believe that alcoholism is hereditary condition related to genetic makeup. It is in this line that Cloninger (1995.5), cited in WHO (2001) also builds upon the genetic view points by saying that a complex mix of environmental and genetics has been shown to put children of alcohol dependent parent at higher risk and other drug problems. The world book encyclopedia (1992), hints research indicates alcoholism frequently has a genetic origin that is the compulsion to drink alcohol is a characteristic passed on from parents to their children and the view of encyclopedia Americana (1984), also has it studies have suggested that the predisposition towards alcoholism may be introduced in some people children of alcohol dependent parents are much more likely to become alcohol consumers than the children of non-alcohol consumers. These writers have failed to acknowledge the critical role the environment also plays in influencing alcoholism in the family, in this vein Brenda el al (2002), also opines that alcohol dependent families are six (6) time more likely than non-alcohol dependent to have relatives who are alcohol dependent. Researchers have long pondered over whether these familiar patterns results from genetics or from the environment which of tens includes alcohol dependent parents, from the above discourse one thinks that a combination of these factors (genetic and environment ) has influence on alcoholism thus it is believed that the socialization process that these children undergo makes them consumed alcohol beverages because every human  being has the inclination to drink but what one drinks depends to a large extent on the environment hence the genetic school of thought cannot be solely be responsible for ones drinking of alcoholic beverages.

3.3 Alcohol and Health

Many authorities have carried out in-depth studies in the area of alcoholism and health, which is a prerequisite for good family life. Joel (1973:7), opines that alcoholism involves the excessive use of the drug to the extent that it measurably impairs the person’s health, social functioning and vocational adjustments. This assertion can be accepted because people who drink excessively tend to have short memory and thus forget their responsibilities this may lead to job loss. Just a mere observation will reveal that people who take alcohol beverages excessively are not accepted in families and societies, even when decisions concerning them are to be made, they are made by close relatives. On the issue of health, people who take excessive alcohol have shorter life span. Keller (1958.1), backed Joel when he espoused the problem from a sociological view point, saying alcoholism is a chronic disease or disorder characterized by repeated drinking of alcoholic beverages to an extent that exceeds customary dietary use or ordinary compliance with customs of the community and which interfere with the drinkers’ health, interpersonal relations and economic functions. From this, it is clear that the problem goes beyond the health of an individual involve in alcoholism but has its social connotations which also have far reaching consequences.   While we agree with this writer on the fact that excessive and prolonged intake of alcohol come with it attendant consequences, research have also shown that moderate intake of alcohol prevents coronary heart problems. According to Dufour (1995.78), heavy drinking is known to be associated with various types of cancer, increase in hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver. Also alcohol affects the brain often permanently damaging the mental functioning of the alcohol consumers, drinking may reduce the number of living cells in the brains since cells do not grow back, those who take alcoholic beverages suffer from organic psychosis and mental coordination. Dufour did well by enumerating all these health effects, but this research fell short of bringing out the relationship between alcohol intake and sexually transmitted disease such as HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea and syphilis. Again she failed to look at the impact of alcohol on appetite and sexual performance, as alcohol consumers are in perpetual drunkenness and will not be able to perform their roles. Dufour (1995.78-9), noted that problem drinkers pay severe penalties. It is estimated that, alcohol consumers are likely to die ten (10) to (12) years sooner than non-alcohol consumers. Half die before the age of fifty (50) which is one reason why there are so few elderly alcohol consumers.  Neissen  et al (1989.1343) asserted that, nearly half of male and one quarter of female heads of households in Nairobi slum are been categorized as alcohol dependents in addition to predisposition to alcohol related diseases and morality including that from injure,  these families are characterized by worsening economic status, high rates of separation and divorce, other psychiatric disorders and premature mortality among both the adult and children. Slum communities are characterized by illiteracy economic and social derivation and lack of basic social amenities such as health facilities and sources of portable drinking water coupled with worsening conditions of sanitation. Is therefore not a surprise that they are associated with premature deaths among both children and adult.

  3.4        Religious and Social Perspective on Alcohol               

Strijdom (1992), sited in WHO reports (2001) has it that young drinkers particularly in Sub Saharan Africa believe that drinking is essential to having a good time and that their purpose of drinking is to get drunk. One can therefore think that drinking to get drunk  can  be attributed to peer pressure. As Jones (1991), also has it that “In a survey, 44% of men and 24% of women said that they felt pressurized into drinking more than they would otherwise have liked during the preceding (3) three months. The research team accept this assertion because the practice of buy in turns by friends and so irrespective ones consumption level, one is suppose to spend equally the same amount of money and that  peer influence is one of the driving factors that makes some to start drinking  as they want to be accepted in such groups.

Donald et al (1989:86), expressed the  view that in time past, alcohol was considered a sign of moral weakness and behaviors’ that were associated with excessive drinking were treated as crime but today, alcoholism is viewed as a disease and many alcohol related offense have been decriminalized and offenders are more likely to be treated as sick person. Although society is dynamic, the implication of change in the recent definition could result in irresponsible behaviors under the pretext of sickness.

Chich (1999), noted that alcohol is our favorite drug and occasionally, people drink more because they feel it helps them to cope with a problem or blots it out. But emphasis can be made here that a situation where one drinks to solve a problem, it rather result in more problems when the power of alcohol is gone out of him or her. This is therefore in line with the view of Neubeck et al (1997), who says alcoholism is the outcome of a learning process and that certain individuals who are afflicted with deep seated fears and anxieties learn that drinking can help reduce or eliminate such fears further still, the world book encyclopedia (1992:237), also communal that some researchers believe psychological pressure such as stress may cause alcohol. These alcohol beverage consumers therefore believe that they can make life bearable by drinking. And Robert et al (1972), indicates that the society set up goals of success. Others give up the struggle and tend to alcoholism due to the competition that exists in the world for material acquisition which is used as the standard of measurement of one’s success. Muhsin et al (1992), Sura Al-maid 9-5:90 (the table spread with food) says’ “O you who believe! Intoxicates (all kinds of alcohol beverages) and gambling Al-Ansay and Al-Anlam (arrows for seeking luck decision) are an abomination of shaitan’s (Satan) hand work, so avoid (strict all) that abominations order that you may be successful Surat Al baquarah (The cow) 2219: They ask you (O Mohammed Pbuh) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling say in them is a great sin and some benefits for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefits”

                                                  CHAPTER FOUR       

                                   DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

4.1   Introduction

This chapter focuses on the presentation, discussion, and interpretation of the data collected from the field .Interpreting these data with appropriate diagrams where necessary. Generally this chapter presents the picture of personal characteristics of respondents as well as their perception on alcohol consumption and its effects on household income.

4.2 Demographic characteristics of the respondents

The socio-economic characteristics of respondents such as Age, Sex, Level of education, occupation and income level have strong relation with social change. Dickson (1987), opines that socio economic characteristics of respondents are considered important because it contributes in shaping the behavior of the respondents in adapting to an innovation.

  • Gender of the respondents

Table 4.1 Sexcompositionof respondents

MALES 32 64
TOTAL 50 100

     Source: Field Survey 2012

The above table shows that there are more males than females among the respondents. This clearly shows that more men drink alcoholic beverages than women in the municipality as indicated by The Ghana Medical Report (2007), which says that more males consume alcoholic beverages than females but drinking among women and the youth is on the increase.

 Table 4.2 Age Structure of Respondents

18-25 8 25 2 6
26-33 5 16 7 39
34-41 15 47 5 28
42-49 2 6 3 17
50-57 0 0 1 6
60+ 2 4 0 0
TOTAL 32 100 18 100

 Source: Field Survey 2012

From the table above, the age structure of the respondents of the study ranged between 18 and 60+. 10 people were age18-25, 25% representing males and 6% representing females, 12 people were found between the ages of 26-33 males constituted 16% and 39% were females. 20 people fell within the age range of 34-41, 47% represented males and28% were females.42-49 were 5 people 6% constituted males and 17% constituted females. 1 female constituting 6% was found within 50-57 and 2 males representing 4 %   were 60+. From the   illustration above its clearly seen that the age range 34-41 are the most found to indulge in drinking followed by 26-33and 18-25 which are the groups that falls within the working class. Males were dominant than females within the respondents indicating that alcohol consumption is higher with men than women because men mostly work and earned income than women do and therefore can afford to buy these beverages, on the other hand women were less in the respondents because their household responsibility such as caring for the children and keeping the home does not permit them to.

 4.3 Religious Status

Most Ghanaian societies believe in the existence of the supreme God of which Wa municipality is not an exception. The common religions practiced in the area include Christianity, lslam and African traditional religion (ATR). Christianity constitutes 80% of the respondents, 10% represents ATR, 8% represents Islam and 2% constituted others who belonged to neither religions. This implies that more Christians consume alcoholic beverages as compared to Islam whose teachings and practices forbid consumption of alcohol. Muhsin et al(1992), sura AL-maid 9-5 ;90( the table spread with food) says O you who believe intoxicates (all kinds of alcoholic drinks) and gambling, AL-Aasany and AL-Azlan (arrows for seeking or decision) are abomination of shaitans hand work, so avoid (strictly all) that (abomination)in other that you may be successful.

Figure 4.1 Religious backgrounds of respondents.

SOURCE; Field Survey 2012

   4.4   Origin of Respondents

The survey conducted by the research team reveals that most people that are engaged in the consumption of alcoholic beverages in Wa township are people who originate from outside the municipality but are there as workers and temporary settlers. From the data gathered, 32 people constituting 64% of the 50 respondents are non-natives of Wa municipality. 11 people representing 22% of the respondents are indigenes of Wa township, whiles 7 people constituting 14% are people from surrounding locality.       

4.5   Marital Status of Respondents

Marriage in most societies in Ghana is an important institution and so is the case in Wa township. The survey reveals that 22 respondents representing 44% are married, 10 respondents representing 20% are single, 8 respondents representing 16% are divorced and 10 respondent representing 20% are others.

Table 4.3 Marital Status of Respondents

Married 6 19 4 22 10(44)
Single 15 47 7 39 22(20)
Divorced 3 9 5 28 8(16)
Others 8 25 2 11 10(20)
Total 32 100 18 100 50(1OO)

SOURCE; Field Survey 2012

From the table above, 22 people were found to be single, 47% were males and 39% females, 19% represented married males whiles 22% were married females, 9.% constituted divorced males and28% females divorced.however,25% males and 11% females constituted others. From the above illustration, majority of the respondents were single and as such consume more alcohol as compared to the married people because they have less responsibilities. A married respondent had this to say, I don’t drink every time because, I have responsibilities, a son at UST and two other children at the SHS that i need to take care of. This is in line with the work of the Ghana demographic and health survey (2008), which says among the males who drinks there is little difference in their alcohol consumption in terms of education and urban-rural residence     

     4.6   Educational Status

Education is the key to development (HDR, 1997).It enlighten the individual and shape him/her to make better choices. The study reveals most of the sampled respondents had some level of education such as Basic, Secondary, Tertiary, and other non formal education.

      Figure 4.2 Educational Status of Respondents

SOURCE; Field Survey 2012

The above bar chart reveals that 11 respondents representing 22% have basic school education, 20 respondents representing 40% are secondary school leavers, and 12 respondents representing 24% have tertiary education, while 7 respondents representing 14% have non- formal education .This means that, the literacy rate is higher in the municipality which when well harness can lead to development. However is Clare on the above analysis that 12 respondents representing 24%who has tertiary education are able to get jobs and also earn some income for the consumption of beverages. It can be observe that

 4.7   Consumers Income

Out of a sample of 50 respondents interviewed, 15respondents representing 30% earned below 100.00 cedi monthly, 18 people representing 36% earned between 100.00-200.00 cedi and 17 people representing 34% constitute people who receive other amounts

Table 4.4 Consumers Income Levels

Below100.00 15 30
100.00-400.00 25 50
        0thers  10 20
        Total 50 100

SOURCE, field survey, 2012

 Majority of the respondents are in the public sector. From the table above it can be deduced that majority of the respondents falls between the income bracket of GH 100.00-400.00 per month and were found to patronize beer more than people that earn below100.00 who are mostly consumers of Pito., ‘a female respondent has this to say, before my husband started consuming alcoholic beverages, we use to have enough money for our household activity such as paying of school fees and also utility bills. But now we are not able to put a decent meal on our table this has made life difficult for us.  This is in line with Ghana living standard (2000), which opines that10.3% of house expenditures, went in to alcoholic beverages, secondly     food, constituted 45.6%, household goods and services accounted for 6.0%, with medical care and health expenses taking up 4.6%.

4.8 Occupational Status

The predominant occupation in Wa municipality is the civil /public service and a few were found in other sectors. Civil /public services constitutes 42% of the sampled respondents, 38% representing respondents in other sectors, and 12% are farmers while 8% are Pito brewers. The occupational distribution is a very important factor because it helps to ascertain the income levels of the people.

4.9   Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages

 Figure 4.3 Alcoholic beverages consumed by Respondents.

SOURCE; Field Survey 2012

From the table it is clear that Beer is the most sold and consumed in the municipality as 26 people representing 52% of the respondents take beer, out of 50 respondents Pito have 20%  consumption rate,5 people representing 10% take Spirits, whisky consumers  were 4  people   representing 8% respectively. Beer such as (Club, Star, Gulder, Guinness, Shandy Am strong) etc with 5 % alcohol content is the most sold and consumed in the municipality .Their choice of beer is that beer has a constant taste no matter what time or season it is consumed as compared to Pito which changes at every brew.  This in line with Ghana demographic and health survey (2008), which opines that there is little difference in the consumption rate of consumers based on their education and urban-rural resident.   

4.9.1     Time and Frequency of Alcohol Consumption

Table 4.5    Periods of alcohol consumption.

WEEKLY 18 36
TOTAL 50 100

        SOURCE; Field Survey   2012

The above table represents responses of interviewees as to whether they consume alcoholic beverages frequently or rarely.32 persons representing 64% of the respondents take alcoholic beverages frequently. Whiles 18 respondents constituting 36% responded rarely. The team further questioned whether they had consumed alcoholic beverages for the past 24hrs, 42 respondents constituting 84% said yes whiles, 8 respondent representing 16% also said no. This implied that more people drink frequently which should have a strong correlation between number of times they consume the beverages and their household incomes respectively. The issue of the time of the day most people consume alcohol was revealed by the research.      

      Table 4.5 Time of the day alcohol is consumed.                  

TOATAL 50 100

        SOURCE; Field Survey 2012

It is evidenced from the table above that, out the 50 respondents who consume alcoholic beverages; 82 % affirms that they take alcohol in the evening thus after work to relax from the hard day’s work. 8 % consumes alcohol anytime of the day, another 8 % also takes alcohol in the morning whiles 2 % consume alcohol in the afternoon. The survey also reveals that most of the respondents take alcohol in the evening because they do not want to be less productive in the work place, especially in the case of people who are paid according to work done. (By day workers).The survey further reveals that, the people that consume alcohol in the morning usually take in Pito (which is term as An somaa) meaning good morning, a way of greetings to the seller and friends and also because it makes them active and can work hard without been stressed out, while those that consume Pito in the evening (termed as Anoola) meaning good evening is also a way of sharing ideas and happenings in the various work place. And others take alcohol at any time of the day because at that moment they feel like drinking. However less people drink in the afternoon because the weather is already warm and does not need any gingering.

4.9.2   Respondents Motives for Drinking

The study reveals that, the 50 people interviewed as respondents have their own reasons for drinking.19 people constituting 38% of the 50 respondents interviewed take alcoholic beverages for pleasure, 14 people representing 28% of interviewees’ take alcohol to enable them forget about their problems, while 9 persons constituting 18% take alcohol to stimulate their appetite to enable them eat well. However, 8 respondents representing 16% take alcohol for health reasons it helps them cure stomach ache, and sexual weakness.       

4.10 Amount of Income Spent on Alcoholic Beverages

4.10.1   Consumers Income

Out of a sample of 50 respondents interviewed, 15respondents representing 30% earned below 100.00 cedi monthly, 18 people representing 36% earned between 100.00-200.00 cedi and 17 people representing 34% constitute people who receive other amounts.

4.9.2    Consumers Income Spent on Alcoholic Beverages

The survey revealed that 20 people representing40% of the 50 sampled population constitute the proportion of respondents who spends 10.00-50.00 cedi on alcoholic beverage.25 people constituting 50% of the respondent spend 100.00 on alcohol, whiles 5 people representing 10% of the respondent spend other amounts on alcoholic beverages. The survey further reveals that people who earned below 100.00 cedi spends 40% of their income on alcoholic beverages, while people who receive between 100.00-200.00 cedi spends 50% of their income on alcohol, and finally people who earned higher incomes than the above spends 10% of their income on alcoholic beverages.  Base on the above analysis it is clear that the intake of alcohol has a direct correlation with income, in that most consumers spend more than half of their income on the beverages at the expense of their families and that just handful of consumers are able to balance their consumption and the family up keep.  

Table 4.5 Amount Spent on Alcoholic beverages Increases or Decreases

DECREASES            27 54
INCREASES           18 36
THOERS            5 10
TOTAL           50 100

        SOURCE; Field Survey 2012

    Table 4.6 Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Productivity

YES            13 26
NO            28 56
OTHER            10 20
TOTAL             50 100

       SOURCES; Field Survey 2012

Results gathered from the study reveals that out of the 50 sampled respondents,25 people representing 50% are of the view that consumption of alcoholic beverages does not affect productivity.15 people representing 30% believe that the intake of alcohol affects productivity. Whiles 10 people representing20% of the respondent was not certain as to whether it affects productivity or not.  It can be interpreted that, the consumption of alcoholic beverages does not affect productivity because majority of the respondents consumes alcohol in the evening.

      4.12        Perceived Benefits of Alcohol.

Despite the negative effects of alcoholism on household income, some few respondents indicated that there are some positive aspects of alcoholism to productivity.

  • Ability to work for long hours without getting tired
  • Helps them forget about their problems
  • Reliefs them of certain diseases
  • As means of entertainment

                                         CHAPTER FIVE


5.1 Summary

In many parts of the world, drinking alcoholic beverages is a common feature of social gathering. Nevertheless, the consumption of alcohol carry’s a risk of adverse Economic Social and health implications. This work focus on Alcoholism and its effects on household income.

From the study, it is revealed that the active working population of the respondents constitutes 64% of the total population. It was further revealed that, 64% of respondents are people who do not originate from Wa municipality, 22% of the people are indigenes of the municipality. Whiles 14% of the people are originating from surrounding localities. However, literacy in the municipality is high, as 22% have basic education, 40% have secondary education, 24% tertiary education and 14% non-formal education. Also, the municipality is dominated by the civil/public servants constituting 42%, 38% representing other sectors, 12% farmers and 8% Pito brewers. The survey gathered that 52% are engaged in the consumption of beer, 20% local beverages 10% spirits, 8% whisky another 8% consume both beer and local beverages and 2% consume wine. Beer with 5% alcohol is the most sold and consumed .64% of the people consume alcoholic beverages frequently whiles 36% rarely drink alcohol.

From the study, the drinking lifestyle of the people does not have negative consequences on their productivity such that 82% affirms that they consume alcohol in the evening usually after work to relax the body and mind and also avert any interference with their work.8% consume alcoholic beverages in the morning because it makes them active and can work long hours without been tired, another 8% drink at anytime of the day because they feel like drinking. However, less people drink in the afternoon because the weather is too warm for drinking alcoholic beverages. The perceived motives that drive people to drink are numerous. These include, drinking for pleasure, drinking to forget problems, drinking to stimulate appetite to eat well and drinking for health reasons such as stomach ache and sexual weakness. A relevant finding to the study is that alcohol consumption is not a genetic problem but rather a socialization process.

A key finding by the group is that, alcoholism has serious repercussion on household income as people who earned below 100.00cedi spend 40% of their income on alcoholic beverages; people earning between100.00-200.00 cedi spends 50% of their income on alcohol. Whiles 10% of income is spent on alcoholic beverages by high income earners. The study further reveals that people spend more than half of their income on alcohol at the expense of their family up keep.

     5.2 Conclusion

    The consumption of alcohol affects a broad cross section of societies around the world. Alcohol dependence touches successful business executives, skilled mechanics, laborers’ church members of all denominations and even homemakers. Alcohol consumption has significant effect on the income of its consumers as they use about half of their income in purchasing these beverages.  It is more worrisome to note that the active working population is the most found to be engage in drinking, although they said it does not affect their productivity, drinking perpetually renders them unable to put much effort in their work. Nevertheless, the consumption of alcohol carry’s a risk of adverse Economic Social and health implications.    

 5.3       Recommendations

       5.3.1    Sensitization

 This is very important in effecting desirable social changes. Alcoholism is a social behavior, it is therefore recommended that sensitization on matters related to adverse effects of alcoholism should remain a continuous activity. The evidence suggest that efforts are not made to address alcohol problems, it may generate in to crises with it attendant devastating impact on human health as well as household income. The only strategy that will probably reorient consumers of alcoholic beverages on their attitude and perception about alcohol is to ensure sustainable sensitization and confidence building programmes. The ministry of health, Ghana drug control board and the district assembly as well as chiefs and opinion leaders need to fight this problem.

 5.3.2 Counseling      

Counseling service is a very important way of dealing with the problem of alcoholism, especially for people that belief alcohol helps them to forget their problems. It is therefore recommended that people be made aware of the gravity of resorting to alcohol as a problem solver and be informed that counseling is meant for people with problems to patronize rather than excessive drinking.  More so people need counseling services to educate them that, they can either minimize drinking or schedule their time in such a way that if even they drink they will still perform their daily activity. The various churches and mosque in the municipality and the counseling unit of ministry of health, social welfare department that can carry out the counseling successfully.

    5.3.3       Controlling the Sale and Advertisement of Alcoholic beverages.

To be able to realize the full potential of the labour force in the municipality it is recommended that as much as possible a ban should be placed on sale and advertisement of the alcoholic beverages, more so high tax should be levied on the sale of the beverages invariably increases per unit cost which will deter people from drinking. The chiefs, opinion leaders, food and drug board should enact by-laws banning the sale and advertisement of alcoholic beverages. Government and ministry of health can make the consumption of alcohol in the municipality prohibited.




1.1 Sex: Male                     Female  

1.2 Age:         18-25         26-33        34-41         42-49         50-57           60+           

1.3 Religion: Christianity              Islam            ATR          Others                                           

1.4 Place of origin: ……………….

1.5 Marital status:  single              married              divorce     Others   

1.6 Educational status:  Basic          Secondary          Tertiary         No-formal           

1.7 Occupation: Farming          Civil/Public Service          Others         Specify          

1.8 How much o you earn: Below 100.00        100.00 – 200.00        Others Amt….        

1.9 Ethnicity……………………………….


1.10 What kind of alcoholic beverage do you take?

a. Whisky         b.   Beer          c. Wine         d. Spirit         e.   Local alcoholic beverages 

1.11 Why do you consume this particular beverage?………………………………………………………..


1.12a How often do you consume alcoholic beverages? Frequently          Rarely        

1.12b Have you consumed alcoholic beverage for the past 24hrs? Yes           No        

1.13a What time of the day do you consume alcoholic beverages? Morning          Afternoon           Evening           Any time     

1.13b Why do you consume alcoholic beverage at this particular time?……………………………………..



1.14a  How much do you spend on alcoholic beverages? 10.00-50.00         100.00+        

1.14b Does the amount you spend on the beverages increases or decreases? Explain.


1.15 Do you think alcohol consumption affect productivity? Yes               No           

1.16 In your opinion does the consumption of alcoholic beverage affects your productivity?

1.17 Do you have anything to say about alcohol and household income……………………



                                            APPENDIX B


  1. Why do people drink?
  2. What kind of alcoholic beverage do you consume?
  3. What are the sources of your income?
  4. How much does it cost?
  5. What time of the day do you take alcohol?
  6. Do you think alcohol consumption affect productivity?

                                   APPENDIX C


  1. What type’s alcoholic beverage do you sell here?
  2. Which of these beverages sell faster? Give reasons.
  3. What time of the day do people take alcohol?
  4. Do you think alcohol consumption affects productivity?

                                           APPENDIX D


  1. What type of alcoholic beverage do you distribute?

Beer, wine, champagne, whisky

  • Which of these do you distribute most?
  • How frequent do you distribute the alcoholic beverages?


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