Three children were rushed to hospital after consuming chang'aa in Bomet County on Christmas Day.
The two boys and a girl, all under the age of 10, were found unconscious in a tea plantation in Kaproret village, Mogogosiek Location, Konoin Constituency, and are admitted at the Kapkatet Sub-county Hospital in neighbouring Kericho County.
“The children were brought in unconscious but we have stabilised them and they have regained consciousness and are now under observation. They will be released today (Wednesday),” a doctor at the hospital said.
Villagers said the children stumbled on the illicit brew hidden in a small tea farm while herding cattle.
“We suspect that they gulped down the stuff to avoid getting caught but did not know its effect on their bodies. They were rushed to hospital after a villager stumbled upon them and raised the alarm,” said Mr Peter Ng’etich, a resident.
On Monday night, a man died after taking the illicit brew in the same village, prompting irate residents to storm local drinking dens and destroy the drink.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has directed the regional commissioner to take action against local administrators for failing to crack down on the sale and consumption of illicit brews.
“Facilitate immediate investigations with a view to taking immediate disciplinary action against area chiefs and their assistants for dereliction of duty,” read the CS’s statement.
He said administrators sleeping on the job will be made to account for security lapses in their areas and warned brewers and sellers of illicit drinks that they will face the full force of the law.
“We will spare no effort or resources in protecting Kenyans, particularly from toxic substances, especially when they affect the lives of innocent children …” stated Dr Matiangi.
County Police Commander Naomi Ichami said four suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident and will be arraigned in court on today.