Twenty nine people have died in Kenya over a few days after consuming illicit brew locally called ‘Changa.’
The first group of twenty people reportedly died on a Sunday in Embu County and another 9 died that Monday in Kiambu county all located in central Kenya.
In Kenya and neighboring Uganda it is common for revelers to consume illicit brew because it is not only cheap but highly potent. Most of those who consume it argue that they cannot afford to buy factory made beer and other drinks because they are expensive.
In the two countries, a beer costs about $1 yet a good number of the drinkers survive on $1 or less a day.
‘’Twenty people died from consuming illicit brew in Embu county. Another nine people have died from Kiambu County. Six of them are members from an extended family,’’ said police officer Lilian Nekesa.
Esther Maina, the County Commissioner confirmed the deaths which she said began occurring that Sunday night. According Maina, the victims from Nazareth village consumed pure methanol which was sold to them by one of the victims, David Mungai, which she said was a notorious illicit brew dealer.
Six died on Sunday, three at the Kenyatta National Hospital where they had been rushed after they developed visual and abdominal complications while the other three were found in the dense Kamwaki forest.
Local media reported Maina saying that six of the victims who are all men are members of the same extended family Mungai included.
“They were evading the police because there is a regular crackdown which has been going on every day in the area and so the dealer opted to sell the brew from inside the forests and it’s there the victims begun getting complications and others died,” she said.
Maina said it was discovered after some of the victims went home and started complaining of visual and sight problems and members of the public reported to the police.
In Uganda most of the deaths occur after competitions in drinking illicit liquor locally called ‘Nguli’ In the last two months at least four people have died after participating in drinking competitions.