A Kenyan chief holding a panga during past raid of illicit liquor. PHOTO/PRESS POINT

By Betty Luke

Five people have died and three hospitalized after they consumed illicit alcohol in Oldonyiro ward, Isiolo County.

The victims are said to have consumed the brew that was allegedly bought at Lodukoe area at the border of Isiolo and Samburu counties during business trip in the area on Sunday.

Acting Chief Officer in Charge of Health Peter Ngechu said among those who died is a 55-year-old woman who had allegedly bought the liquor and distributed it to different areas of Oldonyiro and Kipsing.

“We have lost five people including a woman who we believe was the supplier but the three others who are receiving treatment are in stable condition though complaining that they cannot see well,” said Ngechu.

According to the Acting County Director of Public Health Guracha Sarite the victims, after consuming the alcohol, exhibited vision problems, dizziness and epigastric pain, an indication that the commodity had a lot of ethanol.

“Ethanol affects optic nerves leading to poor brain coordination eventually causing death,” Sarite explained.

The county government has since dispatched a team of officers to establish the source of the liquor and contain the situation.

Those who might have consumed the drink have been advised to seek health services.

“We are liaising with our Samburu counterparts to ensure we establish the source of the liquor and also enlighten our people on the dangers of consuming illicit alcohol,” said Sarite.

Mr Ngechu assured that there was no cause for alarm as the health department was collaborating with the security team to piece information together on the cause of the deaths.

“Governor Abdi Ibrahim Hassan has ordered a crackdown of illicit alcohol across the county in bid to ensure the general public is out of danger. We urge the residents to remain calm,” he assured.

The official also passed Governor’s message of condolence to the bereaved families.

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