WE CAN'T DO IT ALONE

Residents protect notorious illicit brew dealers — chiefs

Foetal alcohol syndrome on the rise as mothers destroy the lives of their babies

In Summary

•Said anytime they arrest culprits the locals or their families go ahead to bribe the law.

•More than 30 consumers of illicit second generation brews succumbed since 2020.

Njiru chief Teresiah Wambui destroys fermented liquor in Nariobi, fighting countrywie war.
ILLICIT LIQUOR; Njiru chief Teresiah Wambui destroys fermented liquor in Nariobi, fighting countrywie war.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

Baringo chiefs have said they are trying their best to crack down on illicit liquor but residents always resist and make their work difficult.

Baringo North’s Kapteberewo location chief Isaac Chemjor confirmed major consistent supply, sale and consumption of outlawed second-generation alcohol.

“We have always been arresting the notorious culprits but unfortunately the residents together with their families protect by bailing them out from court or police custody,” Chemjor said.

He was addressing mourners during the burial of the  Mzee David Barasel, 76, at Korokorwonin village, Baringo North.

More than 30 people, including youths and the elderly, have died in the area while others have lost their sight from alcohol poisoning since 2020.

Meanwhile, foetal alcohol syndrome is depriving society of active members.

Bartolimo assistant chief Nicholas Bowen and his Issas sublocation ocation counterpart Daniel Sobit addressing mourners during the burial of 76-year old David Barasel at Korokorwonin village, Baringo North on Tuesday.
FIGHTING ILLICIT BREW: Bartolimo assistant chief Nicholas Bowen and his Issas sublocation ocation counterpart Daniel Sobit addressing mourners during the burial of 76-year old David Barasel at Korokorwonin village, Baringo North on Tuesday.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Chemjor called for a multiagency approach to fight alcoholism and illegal distilling, saying chiefs alone cannot manage the "runaway manmade disaster".

He was backed by assistant chiefs Nicholas Kibowen Bartolimo and Daniel Sobit of Issas sublocation who called on residents to support the fight against illicit brew.

LIVES IN DANGER

The chiefs further disclosed their lives were in danger as some dangerous brew dealers threaten to kill them if they pursue them.

A chief from Ossen village, Baringo North, was stabbed to death by a renowned brewer and last year another chief’s office was torched by brewers and drinkers at Pemwai, Baringo Central.

Similar or worse cases were being reported in Mogotio, Eldama Ravine, Baringo South, Tiaty and Baringo Central subcounties. 

Saimo-Kipsaraman MCA John Aengwo however called upon the government to facilitate the chiefs with enough armed police officers while conducting the crackdown for their own safety.

“It is also immoral for us the locals to go further and compromise the culprits by bailing them from custody rather than letting them  face the law,” Aengwo said.

He added that he has since he was elected in 2017 and attended burial ceremonies in his ward, most of them were alcohol-elated deaths.

“For how long shall we keep burying our people for a similar cause before coming to a consensus to fight it once and for all," Aengwo asked.

Kapteberewo location chief Isaac Chemjor addressing mourners during the burial of 76-year old man David Barasel at Korokorwonin village, Baringo North on Tuesday.
BEWARE ILLICIT BREW: Kapteberewo location chief Isaac Chemjor addressing mourners during the burial of 76-year old man David Barasel at Korokorwonin village, Baringo North on Tuesday.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

He said if something is not being done immediately to fight the menace, then the people risk a serious generation gap.

“Because currently we are already getting some reports of several local nursery schools minus children owing to low child birth" [foetal alcohol syndrome]," he said.

Baringo county commissioner Abdirisak Jaldesa directed the chiefs to keep on identifying and arresting the illicit brew dealers. saying his office shall never relent in fighting illicit alcohol and the merchants of death.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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