One person died on Sunday while five others were hospitalised after drinking homemade honey beer at Ntoombo village in Tigania West, Meru County.
Among the five hospitalised at Miathene Sub County Hospital, four have since been discharged while one woman is still receiving treatment at the facility.
Ntoombo Assistant Chief Joseph Mutiga said one of the residents prepared honey beer and added yeast before sharing with his neighbours.
He identified the dead as Kunyanga M’Limung’i. “I suspect the yeast is what led to complications,” Mr Mutiga said.
According to residents, the affected started vomiting before they were taken to hospital for treatment after their conditions deteriorated.
“They started vomiting after taking honey beer at a neighbour's homestead. The brewer added yeast to the beer and this might have led to vomiting and diarrhoea,” said Mr Daniel Gitonga.
The residents raised concern over the increased consumption of illicit brews in the area. They accused the local administration of sleeping on the job.
“The chief does very little to curb the illicit brews,” said Mr John Mureithi, area resident.
A spot check in the area found many residents drunk in the morning, a sign that illicit brews were easily accessible.
But the assistant chief disputed claims that the consumption of illicit brews had increased in the area. The administrator said that brewers, who were operating in the area, had been pushed out of business through constant crackdowns.