NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya will intensify crackdown on
counterfeit and substandard alcoholic beverages whose rampant
consumption among low income groups has created a public health
crisis, officials said on Tuesday.
deputy head of public service and national coordinator of a
multi-agency team against illicit trade, said the government has
partnered with the industry to weed out illicit brews in the
"Illicit alcohol is a huge threat in this country and beside
the resulting economic losses, it has negatively impacted on the
health of the consumers," said Musiambo.
He spoke in Nairobi during the launch of a white paper on
trade in illicit alcohol beverages prepared by the ministry of
internal security and public policy think tank, Institute of
Economic Affairs (IEA).
The white paper indicates that an estimated 6 million Kenyans
were consuming substandard alcoholic beverages, thanks to
poverty, ignorance about their hazards and poor enforcement of
Wanyama said formation of a multi-agency team to crack down
on manufacturers and distributors of counterfeit alcoholic
beverages has borne some fruits.
"We have managed to shut down illegal outlets selling
contraband alcohol, arrested traders and imposed punitive fines
on them," said Musiambo.
"The next phase of the war against illicit brews will focus
on enhancing surveillance at border points where unscrupulous
traders sneak them from neighboring countries," he added.
He urged the private sector to support state-led public
awareness campaigns on the dangers of consuming illicit brews.
Kenya is banking on robust policing and consumer education to
reduce proliferation of illicit brews that commands about 30
percent of the alcohol market in the country.
Elema Halake, chief executive officer of Anti Counterfeit
Agency, said that a mixture of regulatory and market-led
interventions is key to reduce intake of substandard alcoholic
products in Kenya.