, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – The Nairobi County Liquor licensing Board has announced plans to carry out random sampling of all liquor outlets and producers to ensure the standards of producing and packaging are maintained.
The board has warned all proprietors operating liquor businesses without licenses, saying they will be prosecuted and the outlets closed.
Proprietors have until April to either renew or apply for licenses.
The board chairman Vincent Shimoli also says the county intends to establish three rehabilitation centers targeting hundreds of alcohol and drug addicts.
“This team will also have a mandate of undertaking random visits to outlets specifically targeting underage drinking,” he said.
He pointed out that Nairobi County has more than 20,000 liquor outlets that are not licensed.
“It is a major problem. We only have about 6,000 outlets licensed by the County Government,” he pointed out.
He also said the board in conjunction with the county inter agency committee will conduct surveillance and inspection of all sheesha joints, with a view to ensure all banned flavours are not being sold.
“Consumption of sheesha and miraa has become a menace in the county and measures are in place to control sale, distribution and consumption in the county,” he said.
According to Shimoli, some proprietors of these businesses have been introducing other illegal substances, “such as cocaine and heroin and selling them to our youths.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are only 19 sheesha flavours approved for use.
“Any joint found to be selling any of the banned flavours will be closed and proprietors prosecuted,” he warned.
Shimoli was speaking on Friday while he visited Greater Life Ministries rehabilitation centre in Eastleigh, where he offered food stuffs to more than 40 alcohol; addicts.
“Alcohol and drugs abuse has taken root in the society. Its effects has not only been seen but also felt in many families,” he said. “We will target the youth from all parts of Nairobi.”
In the new campaign, dubbed as “Punguza Tei, Sare Madree na Jabaa Mtaa Ingare,” he said the board intends to partner with various stakeholders, celebrities to fight the menace and increase awareness.
A similar programme led by the Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho is currently undergoing targeting illicit brew.
Thousands of liters of illicit brew have been destroyed while a number of administrators have been fired.