Africa

'Dozens killed' drinking Kenya homemade alcohol

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More than 60 people are reported to have died in Kenya after drinking homemade alcohol believed to have been laced with industrial chemicals.

Dozens of others are said to have been blinded since Sunday after drinking the illicit brew in four counties.

Officials say it may have contained methanol - a toxic substance used to boost the strength of the drink.

Consumption of homemade brew is popular in Kenya, where most people cannot afford to buy standardised alcohol.

The deaths were reported in Embu, Kitui, Limuru and Kiambu counties.

The officials say the liquor could have come from the same distributor or the same batch.

In 2005, more than 45 people died after drinking illegal alcohol laced with methanol.

The drink is often known locally as "changaa" or "kumi kumi".

To prevent death from these liquors Kenya's government has tried to force backyard brewers into the open.

A bill was passed in 2010 to regulate production by legalising it, but requiring that it be commercially bottled and sold at licensed premises.

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