Out of the 330 bars in the area, just 70 have been given the all-clear to open in Mwea West, Kirinyaga County, and begin operations.

The region had 330 operating bars before a recent incident where 17 people died after consuming illicit brew in Kangai and Kandongu villages, according to newly appointed Mwea-west sub-county Deputy County Commissioner Lawrence Omondi.

Omondi said on Wednesday that while there were 68 bars in operation in Kangai ward where a significant number of people passed away from alcohol consumption only 18 of them had been cleared as of yet.

"50 bars have been closed in Kangai ward, and no bars are operating in the villages, and we will not allow exposure of children to illicit alcohol and drugs,' Omondi said.

Last Friday, the Kirinyaga County Government reopened bars following a new verification procedure. 

On February 17, during the burial of 17 individuals from Kangai and Kandongu villages who perished after consuming fatal alcohol suspected of being laced with ethanol, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru announced the closure of bars in the county. 

 Each bar will be permitted to operate with receiving a clean bill of health and a 2024 license, according to Mwea-west DCC.

"I am not working alone, we are working with the county government, NACADA among others," Omondi said.