Nacada raises concerns over growing alcohol, drug abuse in the country

"Only premises that meet the requirements of the alcohol law shall be allowed to operate."

In Summary

• NACADA accuses bars, wines and spirits and club owners of not adhering to operating hour laws.

• The Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010 stipulates the operating hours which are between 5:00 PM and 11:00 PM on weekdays and 2:00 PM and 11:00 PM on weekends and public holidays.

Image: BBC

The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse has warned that the country is currently facing a growing alcohol and drug abuse problem.

Nacada Board chair Stephen Mairori has said that the problem requires the attention of all Kenyans.

The challenge has also caught the eye of President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who have made public pronouncements on how the Country should deal with the issue moving forward. 

“The authority welcomes the candid concern of the country’s top leadership. Following the gravity of the matter, we singling some key issues which will be given undivided attention moving forward,” Mairori said.

He said the Authority has noted with concern the blatant flouting of opening and closing hours for bars and wines and spirits outlets across the country.

“Nacada would like to remind proprietors of bars, wines and spirits, clubs and all other alcohol dispensing outlets of the provisions of the fourth schedule of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010.

"The Act clearly stipulates the operating hours which are between 5:00 PM and 11:00 PM on weekdays and 2:00 PM and 11:00 PM on weekends and public holidays,” he said.

He also pointed out mushrooming of bars in residential areas, near schools and institutions of learning.

The chairman said this has been compounded by the proliferation of wines and spirits outlets that blatantly allow drinking of alcohol on site and dispensing of the same to children below eighteen years.

“The ADCA law is also explicit on this issue and provides for a distance of three hundred meters from nursery, primary, secondary school, or other institution of learning for persons under the age of eighteen years or a place of worship, health facility or a public playground or any other public land or property or in a public service vehicle,” he added.

Mairori said preliminary reports from Nacada’s ongoing countrywide surveillance activities indicate that a significant number of alcohol dispensing outlets are not compliant with the obligatory public health standards.

This he said poses a health risk to their intended clients and staff.

He further noted the country is witnessing an increase in contraband and second-rate alcoholic drinks as has been highlighted in various media outlets. This presents a severe health challenge to consumers.

“In support of the Presidential directive, Nacada is immediately embarking on coordination of all responsible multi-agency bodies to ensure that the requirements of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010 are strictly adhered to,” Mairori said.

He added that only those premises that meet the requirements of the aforementioned law shall be allowed to operate.

The Authority is also engaging county governments, which are the legal licensing entities for bars, so as to adopt a one-government approach in dealing with this shared challenge.

“We are advising the counties to exercise caution when considering applications from unscrupulous proprietors. We invite all Kenyans to join hands and help in the fight against alcohol and drug abuse,” he said. 

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star