- The suspects face charges related to illicit alcohol production, tax evasion, and endangering public health.
- Traditional brews such as Chang’aa were thought to be produced mostly in riverbeds in slums.
Authorities in Nairobi have found Chang’aa factories in some palatial homes in Nairobi.
Officials of the National Agency for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse said they have already dismantled two factories, one hidden behind a children's playground.
The factories were producing a wide range of alcoholic beverages, from chang’aa to counterfeit spirits.
Investigators believe that the operation had been running for an extended period, potentially contributing to the proliferation of substandard and dangerous alcohol in the market.
“Our success in this is information. We have uncovered one factory in a palatial home in Kikuyu where the car garage was a distillery,” said James Koskei, Nacada’s director of compliance and enforcement.
“This month we have also cracked down on production in Kasarani and Kilimani.”
He spoke in Nairobi at a meeting with the Kenya Editors Guild on Monday morning.
Traditional brews such as Chang’aa are usually produced in riverbeds in slums.
Koskei said they arrested several individuals involved in the illegal production and distribution network. The confiscated equipment and products have been seized as evidence.
The suspects face charges related to illicit alcohol production, tax evasion, and endangering public health.
“There is political goodwill to fight this war. When we came in we realised we had a big problem with supply. So we restructured Nacada and improved our operations,” Nacada chair Stephen Mairori said.
Nacada said cheap brews are some of the most abused products in Kenya.
The Authority further said One in 20 Kenyans are addicted to alcohol.
Nacada said this is prominent with people aged 15 to 56 years.
Of these, the majority are in the Western region where the highest prevalence of alcohol use was observed at 23.8 per cent followed by the Coast region at 13.9 per cent and Central Kenya at 12.8 per cent.
The survey which was released on Monday, further shows that Nairobi has the highest prevalence of manufactured legal alcohol at 10.3 per cent followed by Central at 10 per cent and Eastern (8.4 per cent).
Use of chang'aa was highest in the Western region at 11.4 per cent and Nyanza came in second at 6.3 per cent and Rift Valley at 3.6 per cent.