The death toll due to irresponsible alcohol consumption among Kenyans is rising by the day countrywide, even as reports emerge that minors could be the latest victims of the vice.
In Migori County for instance, the local church fraternity has noted with concern the many uncounted numbers of residents, some as young as 15 years of age, who are addicted to harmful alcohol consumption and who should be urgently protected from dying, during the early stage of their life.
“These teenagers are addicted to the second generation brews and unless the government acts in time, the country would lose many of them to alcohol-related illnesses before they reach 40,” warned Bishop Daniel Kihengu in a statement released to the Media in Migori town Monday.
Through the Church’s umbrella body, the national council of churches of Kenya (NCCK), the Bishop consequently called on Kenyans to fully support the enforcement of the Alcohol Control Act, commonly referred to as Mututho laws, to help address the menace.
Bishop Kihengu who is the NCCK Kuria branch chairman, criticized Kenyans still habouring very dangerous ideas that jeopardize efforts towards fighting illicit brews such as chang’aa and some bad wines and spirits sold in bars countrywide.
He said over the years, Kenyans have been losing lives and livelihoods to illicit brews despite government’s resolve to curb manufacture, marketing and consumption of illicit brews..
“The national government administration officers (NGAO) have been trying to battle the vice, yet the efforts seem not to bear fruits, if the past incidents are anything to go by,” said the church leader, citing tens of people who have been reported dead, while scores have lost sight after imbibing lethal concoctions in the name of alcohol.
Bishop Kihengu said the nation should not be turned into a drinking den, adding that those trying to make nonsense of the law by calling alcohol drinking to be allowed all times were mad people, who want our people idlers and zombies.
The Muthutho allows people to only drink from 5 pm to 11 pm week days and from 2 pm to 11 pm during weekends, but this has not been adhered to completely.
“How will this country realize its optimum potential when citizens spend most of their times in bars and changaa dens?,” posed Kihengu.
He said Kenyans were wasting their very scarce resources on hard drinks yet they had no known health benefits.
“Slavery to alcoholism must be fought and won in all ways to bring down unnecessary deaths and enable citizens live a healthier life,” said the Church leader.