The rising cases of alcoholic drinks and drug abuse leading to mental health issues and worse case scenarios to death has prompted an urgent intervention of the Uasin Gishu County Alcoholic Drinks Control Board (ADCB) through the County Executive Committee Member for the Department of Health Services Dr. Sam Kotut, to consult with the County Assembly Committee Members on amendments to the Alcoholic Drinks Act 2014; to meet its needs and mandate.
Dr. Sam Kotut while leading the discussions noted that the Act 2014, focuses on Alcohol only but the major issues affecting the youth goes back to alcohol and other drugs abuse as well.
“We have multi-agency control and inspection Committee that is led by the County Commissioner and County Secretary, and it is their responsibility to vet, inspect and approve outlets fit for licensing to be legal liquor outlets.
In this case, we also need the Act 2014 to be amended to protect students and young people by ensuring that distance from learning institutions is provided to avert the growth of pubs around schools,” noted Dr. Kotut.
The need to construct a modern rehabilitation centre was welcomed by the Chair Health Committee Hon. Rebecca Chepchirchir Magut and the leader of the Majority Hon. Julius Sang, who also noted that it is important to ensure that those rehabilitated are given help beyond the addiction control by empowering them to be successful in the society.
Chair ADCB Hon. Josphine Tireito said that improving the operations of ADCB by enhancement of their capacity on human resources, provision of adequate funds, vehicles and devolving the unit to ward levels would be a big step to successful management of mushrooming illegal suppliers of alcohol.
Mr. Koiya Maiyo serving as Ag. Director ADCB noted major issues that have led to the rise of illegal alcohol breweries, originate from smuggled methanol and ethanol from Ugandan borders that have led to the repackaging of illegal Drinks into bottles that have been well branded to disguise unsuspecting consumers.
The House Committee and the executive have agreed to undertake public participation in all trading centres to agree with wananchi on the way forward to ensure there is control on the number of liquor outlets licensed in every trading centre.
Among the conditions agreed upon is that, only the businesses operating on permanent buildings will be granted licenses after confirming other facilities such as toilets are available.
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