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Rapid response initiative on liquor stores kicks off

Murang’a County Government has kicked off a rapid response initiative and inspection of liquor stores in a bid to regulate the number of pubs to curb alcohol and substance abuse in the county.

In Maragua sub-county, the rapid Response Initiative launched on Thursday seeks to inspect among others things the structural aspects of the over 600 facilities located in Murang’a south subcounty.

“The exercise will look out for the sanitary facilities in bars and restaurants and how well maintained or defective the toilets, urinals or tiles are,” confirmed the Assistant County Commissioner Alex Wainaina

“The restaurants within bars will also have their kitchens, waste water disposal and provision for a hot water system inspected, “he added

The inspection takes a multi-agency approach as it involves representatives from the county assembly, the subcounty administration, the public health department, the security team as well as the county technical departments and the physical planners.

“We are inspecting the standards of the pubs and liquor stores, the sanitary facilities, the hygiene, the structural integrity of the premises as well as general concentration of the outlets and how distributed they are” ACC said

The inspection will further give a recommendation for licensing and or closure and necessary improvements.

Jane Nyakeruma the sub county police commander also present during the exercise noted that the inspection seeks to check the security compliance of the applicants’ alcoholic drinks sale outlet.

“Regulating the outlets was long overdue and we are doing this so as to save a generation that is drowning in alcohol and harmful second-generation brews” she said

Simon Ndirangu, the sub county public health officer noted that there was an influx of pubs in Murang’a that is encouraging a lot of drinking thus the need for an urgent intervention for regulation.

“We need to remain with a few pubs that meet standards and those that are fully licensed and whose applicants comply with alcoholic drinks sales act” he said

“A way forward will be charted in order to license only those that meet the set requirements for operation” he added

The first day of the inspection revealed that some facilities did not have the required license, had rusted roofs, some even leaking with sagged ceiling while majority in the area were flouting the operation hours stipulated in their licenses.

The township area, alarmingly, has a high concentration of pubs and liquor stores with some being hosted in residential areas contrary to the applicants’ alcoholic drinks sales outlet act.

Other anomalies that were unearthed were lack of proper licensing and lack of health certificates and certificates of good conduct for the owners and workers.

By Florence Kinyua

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