June 9, 2005

By Masaleen Sehpin
The Kaselehlie Press

In their Second Regular Session, the Sixth Kolonia Town Council passed an act, which prohibits alcohol consumption at Pohnrakiet Village, Kolonia and the act became KTO-NO-6C-018-04. Most of the residents of Pohnrakiet village are from Kapingamarangi atoll, an outer island of Pohnpei.

According to Section 1 of KTO-NO-6C-018-04, Pohnrakiet, populated by the people of Kapingamarangi has its own voluntary representative advisory council to help manage the affairs of its community. "Through their council, the people of Pohnrakiet have petitioned the Kolonia Town Council to prohibit the consumption of alcohol within Pohnrakiet for the health and welfare of the people of Pohnrakiet," the ordinance states. Section 2 states that for that part known as Pohnrakiet, the consumption of alcohol beverages shall be prohibited.

Penalties of violating the ordinance is either imprisoned for not more than six months or fined not more than $100 or both. The Kolonia Town Council passed the act on November 22, 2004 and was signed into KTO-NO-6C-018-04 by Kolonia Town Mayor Marcelo Peterson on November 25, 2004.

According to Yuta Baingai and the representative of the people of Kapingamarangi, Senator Edgar Likanet, the idea of banning alcohol consumption within the said area came from the residents of the village, and Likanet believed the village would benefit from banning alcohol consumption at Pohnrakiet in terms of education and the well being of the residents, however, some residents are not very happy with the act becoming a law and at press time the KP only knew not more than that some people have challenged the law in court.