Central Regional Commissioner Fredrick Shisia. [File, Standard]

A government multi-agency team has seized 750 litres of ethanol in a premise in Ruaka, Kiambu county.

The team comprised of the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada), the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the National Police Service.

"The team also recovered over 40 empty drums with a capacity of 250 litres each, suspected to have contained the ethanol and which is suspected to have already been ferried for illegal activities," Nacada said in a statement.

This comes after Central Regional Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said that the death toll had risen to 10 people after consuming alcohol believed to have been laced with ethanol in Kangai, Kirinyaga county.

Nacada warned that drinking alcohol laced with ethanol can lead to serious health complications including loss of life and blindness.

The agency vowed to intensify its crackdown on substandard, illicit, and counterfeit alcohol to safeguard the public from harmful products.

Nacada said the operation will be done in partnership with the National Government Administrative Officers (NGAO) and other law enforcement agencies.

"The heightened vigilance and sporadic crackdowns will continue across the country and anyone found to be complicit will face the full wrath of the law," reads the statement.

The authority urged the public to share information on the illegal manufacturing, distribution or sale of illicit alcohol and drugs.

The public can also contact Nacada through the toll-free line 1192 available 24 hours.

On Wednesday, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's spouse Dorcas Gachagua termed drug peddlers and illicit alcohol brewers as murderers.

This comes days after women took to the streets to condemn the proliferation of illicit brews and the deaths of victims in Kiambu.

Dorcas said that illicit alcohol brewers sell poison to the youths and productive members of society.

“We are burying our children every day. Parents are losing children daily. Those people selling poison in the name of alcohol are murderers and we must speak against this and the church should also be at the forefront in condemning this,” she said.

Dorcas further termed the use of drugs and illicit alcohol as a satanic agenda which should be stopped by all means necessary.

Diocese of Mt Kenya South Bishop, Charles Muturi, regretted that many youths have been destroyed by drugs and alcohol saying that it is easier to build a boy than to repair a man.

“As a church, we kept quiet on this menace even when we see alcohol being brought and being sold we kept quiet but I am happy we have leaders who are ready to fight drugs and alcohol,” Muturi said.

A fortnight ago, a multi-agency team raided Ndeiya sub-county after the public took to the streets to protest increased deaths related to the consumption of illicit brew.

The team led by Nacada, KRA and Kenya Bureau of Standards officials conducted an operation in the sub-county especially, Thigio area.

A section of bar operators were nabbed with expired alcoholic products.

Nacada Chief Executive, Anthony Melikwa, warned that the crackdown on substandard and illegal alcoholic products will continue until the situation is contained.

Robert Githire an opinion leader raised concern over alcohol-related deaths.

"In the last year, we have lost about 17 lives in Thigio village due to alcohol-related complications. All the dead are young men aged between 20 and 45,” Githire said.

He said the police are having a hard time-fighting alcoholism as most drinking dens are licensed by the Kiambu County government.

“The police cannot act as the county government has licensed the bars without vetting of the outlets and the products being sold thereof. If this trend continues we don’t have hope for tomorrow,” Githire said.

Ndeiya sub-county police boss Rosilyn Mnyolmo, said that the police are frustrated in discharging their duty and called for a multi-agency approach to the matter.

“When we are called because of an alcohol-related case we find that the bar is duly licensed by the county government and therefore it would be useless to take such a person to the court. Then the few we arrest with either opening bars before time and such like offences are released on ridiculous cash bail terms,” Mnyolmo said.

The police boss urged the county government to have a clear record of the licensed bars.

“Last year were told there were 70 licensed bars by the county we later realized that the number was actually 90 bars, the county government must get involved in this fight not just licensing,” Myolmo said.

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