Production and Consumption of Non-Standardised Alcohol in Kenya: With Whom Does the Buck Stop (Published)
Realising that harmful alcohol drinking among Kenyans has reached alarming proportions, on July 1, 2015 the Government of Kenya through a presidential directive moved to destroy illicit liquor countrywide. By means of a critical-analytical approach, this paper argues that such a kneejerk political move cannot be effectual in solving the alcohol problem in the country. As pointed out by many commentators on the subject, insensitive drinking is a function of many factors, not just the availability of low-priced non-standard liquor. A broad-based approach to tackling the problem of production and consumption of such alcohol and irresponsible drinking in general ought to address social and economic issues such as poverty which results in production and consumption of cheap low-quality liquor and corruption in agencies charged with the responsibility of regulating and policing alcohol production and consumption. The paper primarily focuses on the role of the relevant government agencies as well as that of the primary socialisers, namely the family and the school in promoting sensitive alcohol production, drinking patterns and responsible citizenry, pointing out the need for a paradigm shift in the way the agencies address the problem.