Eleven people have been arrested, 9,000 litres of kangara and 149 litres of chang’aa seized in a police crackdown in Loikas village within Maralal town in Samburu County.
Samburu Central Sub-County Police Commander Alex Rotich said that lives of many residents in the area have been negatively affected by the brews.
“Residents in this village have been affected by this business; the crackdown will continue to make sure that the rate of illicit brewing and consumption is reduced to a very minimal level if not [eradicated. People are just drinking instead of engaging in meaning income generating activities such as livestock keeping that would give them income and improve their lives” Mr Rotich said.
He observed that residents are forced to engage in illicit brews business in order to raise income to cater for their families’ basic needs.
Ms Rose Akiru said she had been doing the illegal business in order to cater for her family.
“I had been going against government’s directive on brewing of illicit liquor because of my children. I have earned money from selling illicit brew and used it to educate my children. If it were not for my children, I wouldn’t have engaged in this business. But I have stopped and I am now praying to God for an alternative source of income,” she said.
Ms Franciscah Elimlim, who complained of destruction of her property during the raid, said that they do not have any other source of income apart from brewing the illicit alcohol.
“If we stop this business what will we eat? Most of us have been educated using money from illicit liquor brewing. These people should stop frustrating us and damaging our drums because chang’aa has never killed anyone,” she said.
Maralal Location Chief Selina Lemakara urged locals to embrace alternative sources of income, saying the crackdown on illicit brews is aimed at reducing thefts, children dropping out of school and marriage breakups.
“I advise residents to look for alternative sources of income,” she said.