Drones deployed to spot illegal breweries in Kenya

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Illegal brewers want to avoid the expense of getting a licence.

Kenyan police have started using drones to help identify illegal breweries.

The drones being used in Murang’a County in central Kenya have led to the arrest of more than 50 people, the region’s police chief Mohammed Barre said on Wednesday.

Those detained were either selling or drinking a traditional brew known as “changaa”, which is made from fermenting grain.

Changaa is legal in Kenya if a brewer is licensed and their brew is bottled and tested.

But underground brewing is rife in central Kenya where many people cannot afford to buy alcohol from shops or bars legally.

Sometimes illegal brews are laced with methanol, which can be deadly. In 2014, about 70 people were killed in the region after consuming illicit alcohol.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to crackdown on what is sometimes called “killer brew”, saying that many men in central Kenya have become addicted to it.

 

Sammie Idika