Report by Mary Muthoni
TransNzoia Governor George Natembeya says he will work closely with national government agencies in the ongoing efforts to address the problem of illicit brews and substance abuse in the County.
Natembeya who made the commitment when he addressed a multi-agency forum held at the Kitale National Polytechnic, urged relevant agencies to conduct a thorough inspection of all bars, hotels and wines and spirits shops to ensure they were adhering to regulations.
“There is an urgent need for a thorough crackdown of hotels and bars across the county in order to flush out rogue traders who are engaging in illicit businesses,” said Natembeya.
Besides top county government officers, the meeting also brought together National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) led by area County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi, representatives from the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), Anti–Counterfeit Authority (ACA) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
The objective of the forum was to raise awareness among law enforcement officers on the importance of proper management and effective strategies to curb what was described as an escalating problem of illegal brews and drugs in the region.
A recent survey by NACADA revealed Western region as having the highest prevalence of alcohol use at 24 per cent followed by the Coast at 14 per cent with central Kenya at 13 per cent.