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Illicit Brews in Nairobi Slum Areas.

03 April 2012, 12:48 Martin M

The law is very clear concerning drinking and drunken behaviour in this country but the story changes when it comes to ghetto areas.

According to my source, high cost of living especially escalating prices of foodstuffs is the cause of this. When I enquired for more information, my source said that the only way to end this condition is by bringing employment opportunities close to the inhabitants of ghetto regions in Nairobi and other urban centers.

It seems that hopelessness has taken over, as people of all ages engage themselves in brewing and drinking illicit brews. It is no wonder to find young men and sometimes women sleeping on roadsides in morning hours. This goes on despite police patrols & arrests and activism groups campaigning against illicit brews.

Most people living in slums are educated, some having genuine degrees in their shanty houses but because of rampant corruption in the country, they could not secure jobs as required by the level of education. This has led them to live in deplorable conditions doing anything for survival.

In ghetto areas like Mathare Valley, drunkenness is a normal occurrence for the youth and as a measure of acceptance in certain social groups. Even though majority of people are aware of the consequences of drinking illicit brews, they are reluctant to lose their livelihood- a source of money.

The blame also goes to the leaders and the government for turning a blind eye on people in slum areas, and using corruption to hide from the reality. Ghetto people believe that the government is capable of improving lives of people, but leaders are not ready to do this because of fear of losing the ground when calling for votes during electioneer period.

If the law enforcement agency is not ready to intervene and end illicit brewing and drinking in ghetto areas, the country risk a repeat of deaths and blindness associated with these brews in Nairobi and other major towns in Kenya.

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