The Nyeri County Alcoholic Drinks Regulation Committee has so far nabbed 85 per cent of the illicit brew and drug abuse dealers in the county, Nyeri County Commissioner Pius Murugu has said.
Mr. Murugu, who was speaking at the Kamukunji Stadium in Nyeri during the Madaraka Day celebration, said that the committee, which has been undertaking an intelligence-led operation for the last one month, has been able to arrest the majority of the dealers.
Further, the county commissioner noted that the committee was in possession of the names of suspected dealers in the illegal trade, adding that law enforcement officers would soon be closing in on them.
“The remaining 10 per cent are the ones who went into hiding when we started the crackdown. The other 5 per cent are the ones who changed their business as a diversion tactic to escape from the law enforcement but I want to warn them that we have their names and we are going to hunt them down,” said Mr. Murugu.
A report released by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) in mid-May revealed that alcohol was found to be the most abused drug in the country, with 3,199,119 of the population affected, followed by tobacco and khat at 2,305,929 and 964,737 affected people, respectively.
According to the findings, the Western Region leads in the use of chang’aa at 11.4 per cent followed by Nyanza at 6.3 per cent and Rift Valley at 3.6 per cent. The Central Region, on the other hand, has the highest prevalence of portable spirits at 4.1 per cent followed by the Coast at 3.2 per cent and the Rift Valley at 3.1 per cent.
Whereas Western Kenya is leading in illicit brewing consumption, followed by Nyanza and then the Rift Valley, the Mt. Kenya region suffers from a high prevalence of portable spirits with high poison levels, according to NACADA findings.
Additionally, Mr. Murugu said that the state was committed to the total eradication of the menace.
He said that unlike in the past, when the spirit of the crackdown often waned after a few weeks, this time around the government was determined to have a sustained eradication campaign.
“This time around, the government is very committed to the total eradication of the drug and alcohol abuse vice. And I would also like to warn those involved in the sale of drugs and the distribution of illicit brews that this is an intelligence-led operation and the crackdown will continue until we have a sober community, “he added.
Since the beginning of the crackdown, which is aimed at reducing the production and consumption of the illicit brews, more than 1.7 million litres of illicit brews have been spilled and hard drugs have been netted in different parts of the country. Similarly, close to 347,944 rolls of bhang have been seized.
Mr. Murugu has at the same time appealed to the members of the public to continue volunteering information to authorities to support their efforts in the fight against the menace.
By Wangari Mwangi and Samuel Maina