A bar in Nairobi

The number of bars in Nairobi are set to be reduced to 3,000 once a proposal by the County Liquor and Licensing Board is adopted and passed by the County Assembly.

The board will present its proposal in two months’ time in a move aimed at to reining the mushrooming of illegal outlets in the city.

According to a 2016 report, Nairobi had 12,500 bars with most of them illegal and in the informal settlements, Central Business District (CBD) alone has 2,000 bars with only 736 licensed.

Nairobi County deputy director of liquor licensing Hesbon Agwena said the policy seeks to rein in the mushrooming of illegal outlets in the city.

He was appearing before the Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee,

Mr Agwena told the Robert Mbatia-led committee that the policy will inform the maximum number of bars that should be within every area, location and the distance between them.

The county official estimates that about 3,000 outlets may have closed down in the last four years. 

At least 50 bars are opened in the city every three months.

“We only license those that are in a plot and have a plot number but since most are on top of residential houses they cannot get licensed. If we enforced the law then more than 4, 000 bars will be affected as they do not meet our set standards,” said Mr Agwena.

Mathare, Kibera, Dandora, Umoja, Kangemi, Kayole, Gomongo and Korogocho are some of the highly affected areas where bars, and wines and spirits outlets are mostly situated within residential areas.


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