EDITORIAL: Change tact to stop stubborn brewers

Father Lawrence Nyaanga sensitizing Kisii County’s Kiogoro residents on the dangers of chang’aa brewing and consumption on May 5, 2016. PHOTO/File.

As the National Government grapples with an increase in consumption of alcohol more so among young adults, it is worth recognizing the efforts that assistant chiefs, their seniors and other officers in uniform put to ensure this vice is put to an end.

This spirited fight to tame  illegal production of unsafe alcohol in the midst of natural and health calamities that have continued to ravage the world like the deadly Coronavirus that has claimed lives of all people of all generations must be supported by all and sundry.

We recognize the fact that since President Uhuru Kenyatta declared war with illegal alcohol brewers years ago, there has been a frenzy of activities by the local administrators to ensure their regions are cleared of these killer brews. Since these crackdowns were started, some renowned brewers have quit the trade while pockets of others are still clinging to it, with witnessed cat and mouse chases.

For those that have quit, their stories are encouraging as they have moved on, looked for alternative job openings and as some gather and look for few resources here and there to start income generating activities to put food on the table. It is possible some have taken alternative business ideas serious and have turned them into profits.

We still see police destroy brewing cans at brewing homes, some are dug at river beds where brewers hide their trade. Those clinging to this illegal trade will want to use all clandestine means to keep brewing but their time is up.

There are times community decides to say no to local brews. Their efforts have always spoken loud. Many a times members of society stand up against this vice like it happened few weeks ago somewhere in Kisii County where villagers literally chased a brewer woman from her home because of her unbecoming brewing habits.

Sometime it is a pity to see the kind of stuff that is usually stacked in these drums. You find old dirty clothes, pieces of hair and other unkind pieces of anything brewers believe would make their concoctions sweet and tastier.

Many a times we have heard of brewers who are arrested but whenever they are presented in court, they are released on bail or given light penalties which they or their accomplices pay and sooner than later, they are out and back to the same business. It is time these people are branded and monitored so that their trade and movements are checked.

Every town and village in the country has a drinking spot for these illegal brews. How they thrive while government offices and officers are located in almost every corner of the country is a question that nobody can comfortably answer.

Year in year out we mourn and cry for young people whose lives are shattered by the abuse of alcohol just because nobody cared to monitor them or listen to their inner concerns before they fell to this killer addiction.

There would be testimonies of people who have successfully quit alcohol abuse which they were introduced to at a tender age by their parents who used to bring alcohol at home from the drinking dens.

If we can join hands and get to interact with those who have in one way or another been victims or have had siblings or family members who have been affected, we can help them overcome addiction as we endeavor to support them live an addiction free life. Alcohol abuse is not such a simple thing to quit.

Rescue centres must be having their work cut out in this.Young people cannot be left to lose direction in the pretext that life is challenging and now they are finding comfort in drinking.

The government through the relevant ministries must start build set up a surveillance unit that will be based in each county headquarter that will be monitoring progress of hard core brewers, who they are, where they are and their secret dens so that resources are moped to clear arrest them.

 More resources must be allocated to fund the fight against alcohol and drug abuse. Other resources like vehicles to ferry officers, boots to traverse swampy areas must be provided too to these officers.  The government can also ask for resource mobilization from other partners to help in other logistical support that will help reduce alcohol and drug abuse cases.

It is possible that where unlicensed alcoholic drinks are sold is the same place where criminal gangs hide and other hard drugs are sold.

To young people; there is life to live after your youthful years. Alcohol and other hard drugs are just to cut short your fruitful and youthful times and make life miserable or end it.

 Life is more than being alive, it takes efforts by the parents and government to instill order, wisdom and knowledge to the future generation. Assuming that these young people are grown and can take care of themselves is a misconception. Society needs to nurture its own. Otherwise there will be no future generation to leave this country to.

Stock granaries for the drought is here

Once again, some parts of the country are starring at starvation as the rains they we expecting never came, and now their livestock and crops are dying out slowly.

Many times drought has had devastating effects on our people but we have managed to mitigate it overtime. It usually beats our people hands down with deaths registered.

It is necessary allocations in terms of food, water and other non food items are allocated early enough and sent to reservoirs near the affected areas so that people do not die.

The country has faced very severe drought situations in the past and a similar situation is looming. Mitigate this imminent crisis now.

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