A 2-year-old child died after drowning in a chang’aa container on Monday at the Kaisagat location in West Pokot Sub County.
Confirming the incident, area Sub County Police Commander Kipkemoi Kirui said information reached their office from the area chief, who acted immediately after residents raised an alarm.
Kirui said the chang’aa container had been hidden underground in a maize plantation, and the child unexpectedly dropped in while playing with other children.
“The reports we have indicate that the child dropped into a container full of chang’aa and drowned in it. The brewers had hidden the illicit liquor in the maize plantation because intensive crackdowns have been conducted in the region to stamp out illicit brewing,” he said.
The police commander said the parents of the child have disappeared into thin air after the incident, and police are pursuing them to aid in the ongoing investigations. “The parents have gone missing, but we are in pursuit of them so that legal measures are taken against them,” he said.
The commander noted that police have been carrying out intensive illicit brew crackdowns, so brewers have devised cryptic ways of hiding the brews, including in very risky places.
“Brewers are now hiding their brews in dangerous places, leading to injuries and even the deaths of innocent souls like this child,” stated Kirui, who expressed regret at the loss of life of such an innocent soul.
He has urged the community to completely abandon such illegal businesses and embark on productive ventures beneficial to all residents to help the community grow.
“Illicit brews have caused insurmountable harm to our communities, especially the youth, who ought to spend their energy on building the nation. There are numerous business opportunities that are legally sound and can help individuals as well as the community grow,” he said.
By Maurice Osore and Richard Muhambe