Western Kenya leads in alcoholism, chang’aa use: Nacada
Western Kenya has emerged as the region with the highest prevalence of alcoholism in Kenya, according to a survey conducted by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada).
The survey found that the Western region has an alcohol consumption rate of 26.4 per cent. The Coast region is a close second with a rate of 13.9 per cent, while Central Kenya is third with 12.8 per cent.
Notably, Nairobi has the highest consumption of legally produced alcohol at 10.3 per cent, followed by Central Kenya at 10 per cent and the Eastern region at 8.4 per cent.
Western Kenya also leads in the consumption of chang’aa, a traditional home-made brew, with a rate of 11.4 per cent. Nyanza follows with 6.3 per cent and Rift Valley with 3.6 per cent.
The Nacada report highlights that Western Region has the highest prevalence of current use of traditional liquor at 12.9 per cent, followed by Coast at 7.4 per cent and Nyanza at 2.2 per cent.
In terms of drinking spirits, Central Region leads with a prevalence of 4.1 per cent, followed by Coast at 3.2 per cent and Rift Valley at 3.1 per cent.
The report also shows that one in eight Kenyans aged 15-65 (3,199,119 people) currently use alcohol.
In recent years, Central Kenya has borne the brunt of alcohol abuse, with numerous cases of young men ravaged by alcoholism, resulting in family and societal challenges. In response, Kenya’s deputy president, Rigathi Gachgua, proposed that county-level laws be enacted to curb alcohol consumption in the region.