Kenya: Alcohol Abuse Highest in Western Region, Central Tops in Potable Spirits

Nairobi — Western region has recorded the highest prevalence of alcohol use at 24 per cent in a newly released Status of Drugs and Substance Use in Kenya.

The report published by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) listed Coast (13.9 per cent) in second place followed by Central at 12.8 per cent.

The NACADA survey also revealed that Western region had the highest prevalence of of chang’aa use (11.4 per cent) followed by Nyanza (6.3 per cent) and Rift Valley (3.6 per cent).

The report shows Nairobi region had the highest prevalence of manufactured legal alcohol (10.3 per cent) followed by Central (10.0 per cent) and Eastern (8.4 per cent).

It further indicates that Central region had the highest prevalence of potable spirits (4.1 per cent) followed by Coast (3.2 per cent) and Rift Valley (3.1 per cent).

The findings suggested one in every eight Kenyans aged 15 – 65 years (3,199,119) were using alcohol.

“Alcohol continues to be the most widely used substance of abuse in Kenya with findings pointing towards increasing demand for cheaper and readily available alcoholic products especially chang’aa, traditional brews, and potable spirits,” the report reads in part.

Alarming rates

Commenting on the findings, Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said the statistics on drug and substance abuse are truly alarming and deeply concerning.