In a bid to combat the sale of illicit brew, the government has intensified its crackdown and closed down a staggering 5,995 liquor joints across the country. The Ministry of Interior announced the closures in a statement released on Tuesday, stating that these establishments had failed to comply with the necessary legal operational requirements.
During the crackdown, a total of 47,708 outlets were assessed, with 43,708 already deemed compliant and allowed to continue their operations. However, the remaining 5,995 joints were shut down due to serious safety breaches and a failure to meet essential legal requirements, as stated in the ministry’s statement.
The Ministry of Interior highlighted that the Rift Valley region has exhibited the highest level of compliance, with a total of 23,735 cleared businesses. Eastern Kenya followed closely behind, with 5,708 cleared outlets, while the Central, Nyanza, Western, Coast, and North Eastern regions also demonstrated significant compliance figures.
The statement further revealed that the Eastern Region and Nairobi recorded impressive compliance numbers, with 5,708 and 3,315 cleared businesses, respectively. The Central region followed with 1,827 cleared outlets, while Nyanza, Western, and Coast regions had 1,217, 1,153, and 706 cleared establishments, respectively. North Eastern had the lowest compliance rate, with only 52 premises meeting the requirements.
According to the ministry, approximately 86 percent of the inspected spots showed compliance during the nationwide operation. Spearheaded by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki, the operation aims to crack down on the sale of illicit brew and the abuse of drugs in the country.
Earlier this year, the government launched the crackdown, resulting in over 3,000 arrests, the closure of 5,000 unlicensed premises, and the seizure of more than 2 million liters of illicit alcohol. Raymond Omollo, the Interior Principal Secretary (PS), provided these figures, highlighting the government’s determination to address the issue.
Recent statistics from the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) indicate that the Western region has the highest prevalence of alcoholism in Kenya, with an alcohol prevalence rate of 23.8%. The Coastal region follows at 13.9%, and the Central region at 12.8%.
Regarding specific types of alcohol consumption, the Western region leads in the consumption of chang’aa and traditional brews, while the Central region has the highest prevalence of potable spirits use, followed by the Coast and Rift Valley regions. The Central region also tops the list in the current use of tobacco, with the Coast and Eastern regions close behind.