Nairobi Leads in Alcohol Consumption: Insights from Nacada’s Survey on a Responsible Kenya

A recent survey conducted by the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) has shed light on alcohol consumption rates in different regions of Kenya, providing valuable insights into the country’s drinking habits and highlighting both progress and challenges in promoting responsible drinking.

According to the survey, Nairobi emerges as the region with the highest rate of alcohol consumption, with a prevalence rate of 17.5%. In contrast, Nyanza and North Eastern have the lowest consumption rates at 10.2% and 2.0%, respectively. Central Kenya has also made significant strides in reducing alcohol consumption, with a prevalence rate of 10.6%, a commendable result attributed to ongoing anti-drinking campaigns.

Despite progress in some regions, the national average for alcohol consumption stands at 12.2%. This figure indicates that there is still work to be done to promote responsible drinking habits across the country.

The survey targeted Kenyans between 15 to 65 years of age in 3,362 households across the eight regions. It is worth noting that the reduction in alcohol consumption in Central Kenya is a result of an intensified campaign launched two years ago following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to crack down on the drinking menace.

While Central witnessed a decline in alcohol consumption, the study revealed a shift in the pattern, with Eastern and Nairobi witnessing an increase in licensed bars. Eastern registered the highest concern at 70%, followed by Nairobi and Coast at 57.3% and 52.5%, respectively. Nairobi’s alcohol abuse has been attributed to a higher population of government employees with disposable incomes and the presence of large informal settlements in the city.

Similarly, improved returns from the sale of miraa (khat) in Eastern region have contributed to higher disposable incomes, leading to increased alcohol consumption.

The survey also highlighted the alarming rate of alcohol-related disorders in Kenya, affecting at least 2.8 million people, or a prevalence rate of 10.4%. This number is double the figure for tobacco and miraa-related disorders, which stand at 1.8 million and 0.8 million, respectively.

Most concerning is the high prevalence of alcohol disorders among the productive age group of 25 to 35 years, including university graduates and workers at the peak of their careers. They make up 12.8% of those affected, posing a threat to the nation’s Vision 2030 development goals by impacting the workforce.

Nairobi leads the nation in alcohol-related disorders with a rate of 18.4%, followed by Western at 13.1%, and Eastern at 10.6%. Central has the second lowest rate at 8.3%, after North Eastern with 1.4%.

The survey also noted an increase in alcohol consumption in rural areas, with a prevalence rate of 29.6%, compared to 31.7% in urban areas. The rise is partly attributed to job opportunities created by devolved governments, leading to increased disposable incomes.

To address the alcohol-related challenges, the government has intensified efforts to crackdown on illicit brews, impounding illegal alcohol worth millions of shillings in Nairobi and Kisumu.

The survey findings underscore the importance of promoting responsible drinking habits across all regions of Kenya. As the nation moves forward, initiatives like the Responsible Kenya campaign play a crucial role in fostering a culture of responsible alcohol consumption, safeguarding public health, and supporting the nation’s development goals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *