Authorities in Kirinyaga County are urging residents to seek medical attention if they consumed illicit brew from the "California Bar" in Kangai, following the deaths of at least 10 individuals.
"We call upon those who could have consumed the illicit brew at this particular outlet to visit our medical facilities for examination and treatment," stated Kirinyanga Deputy Governor David Githanda.
This call comes after several victims, initially hospitalized in critical condition, succumbed to suspected methanol poisoning from the brew.
The tragedy unfolded over the past week, with two fatalities reported on Monday, four on Tuesday, and additional deaths occurring Wednesday amongst those hospitalized earlier.
A total of 20 individuals sought medical attention, with six sadly losing their lives, four remaining in critical condition, and 10 receiving treatment and released.
The source of the lethal concoction remains under investigation, though methanol poisoning is suspected.
According to Githanda, the brew is suspected to have been laced with ethanol while the bar in question, "California Bar," operated illegally, having had its license application rejected in December 2023.
"The County Government of Kirinyaga is committed to weed out all unlicensed liquor outlets," declared Githanda, emphasizing the responsibility of bar owners to adhere to safety standards set by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS).
Beyond the immediate medical response, the county extends its support to the affected families.
The county is in touch with the families of those affected by the incident and is working together with local leaders to assess the assistance needed
The fight against illicit brews requires collective action, Githanda stressed.
"We take cognizance of the fact that no single Government agency can eliminate illicit brew without working together with other law enforcement agencies. We therefore call upon all stakeholders to work hand-in-hand with the County Government," he concluded.
This tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of consuming unregulated alcohol. Residents of Kirinyaga are urged to heed the call for medical check-ups if they have consumed the illicit brew from "California Bar," and authorities pledge to tackle the issue of illegal alcohol production and distribution head-on.