Lamu Island, Kenya – In a decisive crackdown on illegal alcohol, security officers in Lamu Island destroyed 960 litres of illicit liquor seized from several areas within the Lamu Central archipelagos. The operation, led by Philip Oloo, the Assistant County Commissioner of Lamu Central, targeted areas where the illegal trade was rampant, including Manda Maweni, Mararani, Uwiyoni, Kashmiri, and Kandahari.
According to Kenya News Agency, The operation, which lasted ten days, saw the confiscation of various illicit brews, including the traditional Mnazi. This crackdown was prompted by rising concerns over public indecency, crime rates, school dropouts, and declining academic performance, all linked to the spread of illegal alcohol. Oloo stated that the coordinated multi-agency effort was a response to a surge in these issues, exacerbated by the proliferation of illicit brews.
The campaign against illegal alcohol in Lamu has seen 20 individuals arrested in connection with the illicit brew trade. Oloo underscored the importance of ongoing efforts to dismantle illegal drinking dens and prevent their resurgence. He also stressed the need for community involvement in reporting these operations and called upon Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) to enact stricter laws to combat the issue.
The lack of adequate support for the Liquor License Board, as pointed out by Oloo, has been a significant challenge in regulating and monitoring establishments, allowing illegal dens to operate unchecked. Lamu Central OCS Samuel Muturi echoed these sentiments, highlighting the challenges in licensing and regulation, and linking the spread of illicit brews to increased crime and public health concerns in the affected areas.