Executive Office of the Deputy President of Republic of Kenya

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has asked governors from the Rift Valley region to work with leaders and security officers in their counties in a bid to fight illicit, toxic alcohol and substance abuse that have become a threat to economic stability and the lives and health of the youth.

Mr Gachagua asked the governors to carry out an audit on the licenses issued to ascertain their status with a view of cutting down on illegal ones as well as deal with the problem of alcoholism in the region.

Speaking on Monday in Nakuru during a conference on ending alcoholism, manufacture and sale of illicit and toxic brew, drug and substance abuse in the larger Rift Valley region, the Deputy President said the Government has intensified the battle against the vice asking leaders, administrators and residents to support the renewed push to save the youth from the ills.

“In every 10 shops in a small trading centre, seven are bars and restaurants, selling during the day and the night. The governors should work with the members of the national administration to look into the licensing of the bars,” said the DP at Nakuru Showground.

As an immediate measure to curb the menace, Mr Gachagua asked the national government administrators to start by closing all the non-licensed distilleries in the region which have been identified as one of sources of the harmful alcoholic drinks.

“Those illegal distilleries operating in homes and behind shops must be shut,” he said.

The DP also requested the governors from the region to urgently convene forums in their counties to look into the issue in detail and come up with more effective preventive measures.

With figures presented by the National Authority Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) capturing a grim picture of the situation in the region, Mr Gachagua said it was no longer business as usual warning that no one will derail them.

“We will not spare anyone who will stand in the way of rescuing our youth from being rendered unproductive and unable to make any contribution to the growth of our nation,” he said.

He said NACADA will be allocated more funds as it facilitates the fight against the ills in the region and nationally.

Mr Gachagua also stated that the government will consider opening rehabilitation centres in every county to aid in reintegration in society of those rescued.

“The counties should consider setting aside some of the revenue they get from licensing bars to Nacada for rehabilitation initiatives,” he observed.

The DP said the vices have become too rampant to be treated lightly saying President William Ruto has issued firm instructions to ensure the menace was dealt with firmly.

“The war against the sale and consumption of Illicit brew, drug and substance abuse in the country must be won. It is a bid to save the country from sliding into drunkenness,” the DP said during the event at Nakuru Showground.

The conference was convened by the Deputy President who is spearheading the fight nationally.

The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretaries, governors, MPs, senators, members of the National Government Administration and residents who agreed to support the government in the fight.

The Deputy President also warned against any attempts to revive criminal gangs promising firm action against them.

“The gangs will be dealt with decisively and swiftly,” he said.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said the battle is aimed at saving the youth from destructive ills that risked wiping out a whole generation.

“Unless we address this problem with finality we stand to lose the next generation to this menace. The crackdown is against Illicit and toxic drinks and substances,” said Mr Kindiki.