Leaders in Nyandarua County have raised concern over the high number of youths indulging in alcoholism and drug abuse in the county.
The leaders who spoke at different meetings vowed not to relent on the war against the vice saying the youth have turned to drugs hence the rise in crime.
Led by Governor Moses Kiarie Badilisha, the leaders said this has resulted in a breakdown in social order noting that his administration will relook at the law governing the issuance of licenses to reduce the number of alcohol outlets.
“I will not relent in fighting against alcohol, drugs, and substance abuse within Nyandarua County and I’m deploying all laws and policies which address the menace. It is no longer tenable to address the liquor licensing as merely a social and revenue issue, but one that’s now touching on the very survival of our youth and potential of our county to develop and sustain a functional population,” said Badilisha
The county boss warned illegal brewers and those selling bhang that his administration will not rest until they wipe out the culprits.
Nyandarua County Woman Representative Faith Gitau said the trade in alcohol has resulted in the creation of major loopholes in production where people have resorted to manufacturing their own counterfeit brands.
“We should stop focusing on the seller of the illicit brew but also on their source in order to deal with the problem once and for all,” she said.
Statistics from Nyandarua County conducted late last year indicate, there are 2,600 existing bars and alcohol-selling outlets spread across the county with only 600 being licensed to operate.
“The county administration should also wake up and relook on the issue of licensing to reduce the numbers of outlets and control the alcohol being sold,” she added.
Alcoholism and drug abuse have been a menace in the Mt. Kenya region with a government survey showing that 12 out of 40 people consuming alcohol came from the central region while the remaining came from other parts of the country.
Recently, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua asked county governments in the Mt. Kenya region to license only one bar and one restaurant per town in a move aimed at curbing runaway alcohol consumption in the region.
He blamed the provincial administration for the increase in the illicit brew business in the region.
“Bar and restaurants should be given one per town. The rest should be closed and operate in the evening from 5 pm to 11 pm. We cannot watch our children being killed by illicit brews when there are administrators. We want the chiefs to help us make sure we bring this to an end,” said the Deputy President.