Illegel brew is one thing if you walked through Kibera mostly the Laini-Saba areas you will not fail to notice. Just a year after the death of 20 people from Kibera, 9 people in Shauri Moyo and more than 50 people country wide, there is still some people who are selling the illegal brew usually known as “Chang’aa” or nicknamed “Jet-Fuel” by some others.
After work you will find men, women and youths sitting in their respective areas taking the Chang’aa while laughing at the top of their voices. To make matter worst they do these right in the eyes of the residents and police, by the road you could spot them easily while passing by. Jet-Fuel has become a major component in local illicit brew drunk by many urban poor people in Nairobi, a local newspaper reported.
A research made showed that not many people cannot afford to buy the ordinary beer like Tusker, Pilsner or Guinness. After the reading of the Budget earlier in the year by the Minister of Finance, the prices of the ordinary beer doubled which made it expensive than before. This is one of the reasons you will find drunkards who can not quit drinking going for the cheap brew in the likes of Chang’aa and Busaa. Other claim that the beer sold in Pubs is not strong enough to make them high hence deciding to go for the stronger brand which will make them drunk in a matter of minutes.
The sellers of these illicit brews in the slums are in the other hand are ripping their fruits by taking advantage of their customers through the profit they make. The brew is mostly not brewed in the surrondings but outside Kibera and later transported in Kibera through hideouts, only but a few make their brew in Kibera in secret places or hidden houses.
This Chang’aa which is made in a quicker way rather than the African way with pure mixture of Jet-Fuel and Formalin. It is believed that airport workers sell jet fuel to customers who later sell it to brewers in the slums. The Jet-Fuel is used to make the drink stronger and it is much cheaper than the traditional ingredients, making the profit higher for the sellers. The Formalin, a chemical used to preserve bodies, shortens the brewing period. This is very dangerous to the Human body because the Jet-Fuel burns ones throat down to the stomach and the Formalin can cause eye blindness. If consumed in excess for a period of time can lead to death. The traditional Chang’aa is made of maize flour, sorghum yeast and sugar parse, but takes 15 days to be ready.
The government should take immediate actions to bring to an halt the brewing and selling of this dangerous liquor to the citizens. It should arrest the people selling this brew and those transporting it to the slums for the underprivileged people.