Nacada announces nationwide crackdown on bars near schools

The National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug and Drug Abuse has announced a nationwide crackdown to close down bars and other liquor dispensing outlets located near learning institutions.

In a statement on Monday, chief executive officer Anthony Omerikwa said the crackdown will affect bars and liquor dispensing establishments located less than 300 meters from educational institutions or areas catering to individuals below 18 years.

“The crackdown will be executed in collaboration with relevant national and county government agencies and seeks to ensure strict compliance with legal requirements about the positioning of such outlets,” he said.

Omerikwa said the initiative is anchored in the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act of 2010.

“Moreover, it serves as a reminder to all players in the community in their role in enhancing the safe development and wellbeing of our children,” the Nacada CEO said.

The Alcoholic Drinks Control Act provides a legal liability to any person who sells alcoholic drinks in prohibited locations.

This is like a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or imprisonment to a jail term not exceeding three years, or both.  

The crackdown is the latest in a series of other government initiatives aimed at arresting alcohol and drug abuse, especially among the youth.

On May 20, Nacada ordered the removal of billboards promoting alcoholic drinks near learning institutions. 

The Authority said the advertisements were likely to create an erroneous impression about the characteristics, health effects, health hazards, or social effects of the alcoholic drink.

It said the exposure of youth to outdoor alcohol advertising near schools was likely to mislead youth to use alcohol.

The move adds to another initiative spearheaded by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua to contain illicit brew use and drug abuse among the youth.

The initiative has so far achieved commendable milestones with the Interior Ministry reporting that 18,650 unlicensed liquor joints had been closed as of March 25, 2024.

While issuing the update, the CS said 12,150 premises which were operating across 47 counties without licenses and 6,500 others which were licensed contrary to National Law on proximity to learning institutions had also been shut.

The CS said 14 distilleries that were manufacturing toxic killer brew had also been closed and their production infrastructure destroyed.

Gachagua has on countless occasions reaffirmed the government’s commitment to rid the country of illicit brew saying it will not relent on the nationwide fight against manufacturers of the killer brew.

“President, CS Kindiki and I have resolved that we can’t allow the lives of our youths to be destroyed by illicit brew. We have deployed stringent measures to save the generation. Those selling legit alcoholic drinks will not be affected,” Gachagua said in Meru on March 23.

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