A three-year-old baby from Mapengo Village in Chekalini Ward, Lugari Sub-County, has been admitted to Lumakanda County Hospital after developing complications resulting from drinking illicit brew.
The baby is said to have fallen critically ill after taking the local brew, popularly known as chang’aa, which was in a 500 ml water bottle.
The alcohol is suspected to have come from a neighbor who a resident says illegally sells the brew.
“The mother of the kid had gone to the farm before she was informed that her baby was in a critical condition. When she rushed back home, she found the baby lying down and smelling alcohol, the bottle on his side,” a witness told the Western Kenya Times.
The baby, who was vomiting profusely, was rushed to a private facility at Lugari Station where she was given first aid and later referred to Lumakanda County Hospital.
Lugari OCPD Bernand Ngungu said that the baby had been left with his grandfather before the incident.
“Police are underway with the investigations. We are waiting for a medical report from the hospital before we can make any arrest,” he told the Western Kenya Times.
The witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the family now claims that the baby was intentionally given the drink.
“The family thinks that the neighbor knowingly offered the baby the drink. They have not been getting along well and the family believes that it was ill-intended,” the witness said.
Attempts to reach out to the family for an explanation were futile.
Mapengo Village, which borders the Kipkaren River, is known to be a hub of several drinking dens that people from as far as the neighboring Bungoma County visit for leisure.
Recently, at least five people died while other nine were hospitalized after taking the illicit brew in Kimilili Sub-County in Bungoma County, similar to an incident in Likuyani Sub-County where the brew killed one a month ago.
Sam Oduor is the editor-in-chief at the Western Kenya Times who leverages the power of the Internet in telling stories that shape opinions.