Eateries feel pain of liquor shops closure near learning institutions in Kasarani

The government has intensified its operation to eradicate second generation alcohol across the country.

In Nairobi County, the operation has left hundreds of people who depended on alcohol businesses and liquor shops for their livelihoods without an alternative.

The operation, which is being carried out by the national government in collaboration with the county government, saw more than ten bars shut down in Kasarani on Tuesday.

According to Nairobi County, more than 150 liquor shops have been closed and several people arrested for running illegal businesses.

A few metres away from the United States International University-Africa, a quiet environment suddenly prevails in a centre where students mostly gather to tie up, eat and drink alcohol to relieve their minds from the stress of their studies.

The smell of alcohol and loud music associated with the wine and liquor shops in the area is now replaced by the aroma of food from the surrounding kiosks, but without people to eat it.

According to the businessmen who run the shops and eateries near the closed bars, the operation has had a huge impact on their businesses.

Otieno, a small businessman who sells smokies, smocha, burgers and eggs just opposite USIU, used to earn up to Sh3,000 daily from his business, which was doing well in the student environment.

However, the crackdown on alcohol led to a low number of customers, forcing him to close his shop.

With dozens of students queuing for his smokies coming from the four liquor shops in his area of operation that have since closed, Otieno is struggling to make a living and wants the government to reconsider its move.

“We really don’t know what is going on with this government. They are now closing down businesses and the traders have not been given any solutions. They need to sit down with the bar owners and come up with alternatives,” said Otieno.

His views were echoed by a number of youths who called on the government to allow licensed people to continue with their businesses.

“I hope they will open them. You can see the customers are not here yet, it is 1pm. On normal days I would have sold enough food to them,” said a woman who runs one of the stalls.

Some of the people whose businesses have been shut down have vowed to go to court, arguing that they had licences to operate such businesses, only for the same government to start shutting them down.

Boda boda operators who depended on customers from such clubs have been affected and forced to change location.


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