More by Correspondent


Illicit brew taking lives across the country

At least ten people were reported to die on Monday after consuming some illicit brew at a slum in Embu County, while about 35 others were rushed to the Embu Level Five hospital for treatment. As of today, the death toll is reported to have increased to 18 and most of those admitted are in critical condition.

Most of those who were rushed to the hospital are said to have been complaining of sight loss and feeling dry in the mouth.


In yet another drinking spree in the same county, residents are reported to have been treated to a free liquor party after a lorry that was ferrying alcohol overturned in Embu town. Scores of young men flocked to the scene for a drinking spree and not even the clubs of the policemen who came to chase them away could stop them.


Nine people are also reported to have died after drinking illicit brew in Kawamwaki village, Limuru just a day after the Embu saga. According to the Limuru Deputy County Commissioner, Kang’ethe Thuku, the suspicion is that the brew was laced with methanol (a light volatile flammable poisonous liquid alcohol).

The victims are said to have been drinking the alcohol Monday evening in a forested area surrounded by tea farms.


Six people died and 19 others were admitted in hospital in Kitui Country after consuming yet another poisonous brew at a remote village in Ikutha district. Among the dead were the bar owners and three primary school teachers.

Another 10 people died in Kithuki location in Makueni County and an unknown number is reported to have gone blind after also consuming a poisonous brew. The victims are admitted at the Makueni level 4 hospital.

Six more people are reported to have died and another two blinded after drinking an illicit brew in Embakasi in Nairobi County, bringing the death toll of the people who have died since Sunday across the country to 56 and more than 70 in hospital.

Illicit brew is outlawed in Kenya but unscrupulous brewers continue to sell the cheap liquor to the much willing individuals who just never learn.


The KF says that Kenya regularly witnesses news of the death and injury caused by poisonous home brewing; it’s a tragedy that affects the poorest and least educated in our society. We will never get rid of this problem so long as desperately poor people want a drink but can only afford cheap, locally made hooch. The only way to combat it is to educate people. The government should mount a nationwide campaign to educate people and tell them of the dangers of consuming this poison. It won’t stop it but it will help to save lives and prevent poor Kenyans going blind.


Related Articles