In a bid to reduce alcohol abuse in the country, Kenya's deputy president Rigathi Gachagua has instructed county governments to allow only one pub per town.
According to the BBC, Central Kenya has been battling what the government warns is an alcohol and drugs epidemic. The officials have not provided any data to back this claim but they have stated that there is a problem, which they blame on the high number of unregulated bars and pubs and an influx of cheap, illicit brews.
Now, citing this rise in the region's illegal brew industry, Mr Gachagua announced, "Bars and restaurants should be given one per town. The rest should be closed and operate in the evening from 5pm to 11pm".
"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," Mr Gachagua added as per the BBC.
Separately, Nyandarua County Women Representative Faith Gitau claimed that individuals have turned to producing their own counterfeit brands. Only 600 of the 2,600 bars and other alcohol-sales businesses that are now open are licenced to sell alcohol in Nyandarua County as of late last year, she noted, according to Kenya news Agency.
"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," Ms Gitau said, adding, "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".
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Governor Moses Kiarie Badilisha also stated that his office would review the roles controlling the issuing of licenses to restrict the number of alcohol stores. He claimed that the alcohol menace has led to a breakdown in the social order. "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," Mr Badilisha said.
However, according to the BBC, not many Kenyans are liking the one pub one town policy. "Even if they shut down all these bars, we will still drink. This is not cheap or illegal liquor, so why do they want to interfere with my lifestyle and my party mood?" a local resident Charles Ngugi told the outlet.