Nakuru illicit brew: Deaths rise to eight as three more die

Bahati Sub-County Hospital

A patient who consumed an illicit brew is wheeled to a ward at Bahati Sub-County Hospital in Nakuru on August 10, 2021. 

Photo credit: Cheboite Kigen | Nation Media Group

Three more people who had consumed an illicit brew in Nakuru County have died, bringing the total number of fatalities to eight.

The trio died at Bahati Sub-County Hospital while receiving treatment, county public health chief officer Daniel Wainaina confirmed on Wednesday.

One of those who died is an expectant mother who had gone blind after taking the brew. She had been rushed to the Nakuru Level Five Hospital for specialised treatment.

The hospital had four patients recuperating at the facility after the incident. Following the latest deaths, only one remains.  

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri (centre) when he visited victims of the poisonous brew who are admitted to Bahati Sub-County Hospital on August 10, 2021.

Photo credit: Cheboite Kigen | Nation Media Group

Initially, nine people are reported to have drunk a poisonous brew. A resident, Mr Geoffrey Kamau, had told journalists that they started complaining of stomach ache, dizziness and vomiting before they were rushed to hospital.

"Among the dead is the seller of the brew. The victims were picked from various locations while unconscious,” Joseph Kuria, a Nyumba Kumi leader, said. 

Investigations launched

Police officers are investigating the tragic incident, with the remaining liquor being taken to Nairobi for chemical analysis.

The bodies of those who died were taken to the Nakuru County mortuary awaiting a post-mortem.

Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui

Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui speaks on August 10, 2021 at Bahati Sub-County Hospital after he visited victims of the poisonous brew who are undergoing treatment.

Photo credit: Cheboite Kigen | Nation Media Group

Meanwhile, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has called for the arrest of those involved in selling the illegal brew.

The county boss said such cases are on the rise within the devovled unit.

He also urged law enforcers to be vigilant and bring to book all those involved in the sale of unlicensed brews.

"It’s unfortunate that killer brews are back into the market and it’s upon the security agents to step up the fight against the illegal business," said Mr Kinyanjui.

He also called on the youth to shun irresponsible behaviour, saying some are only engaging in daily drinking and not working.

"Some of them are shunning even work and partaking unlicensed and lethal brews," said the Nakuru governor.

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