Kachasu booms: as tourist capital distils more illegal liquor
SOME Livingstone residents have raised concerns over the increasing levels of alcohol abuse in some townships.
The brewing and consumption of the local beer commonly known as ‘Kachasu’ is thriving in some townships of the tourist capital, mostly brewed by women and consumed by the menfolk and the youth.
The trade in illicit beer has now moved from the compounds into some selected points and makeshift markets in the Central Business District (CBD).
A check in some compounds such as Linda, Ngwenya, Sawmills and Malota by the Daily Nation over the long weekend revealed the damage that illicit alcohol consumption has caused in the communities.
Most people brew kachasu in their homes, in gardens and some in garages and have no means of testing alcohol content levels in their brew.
In an interview with The Lusaka Sun, one of the concerned resident Evans Mwala of Ngwenya Township said that illegal brewing of Kachasu has suddenly increased compared to the previous years.
According to him, the situation has been escalated following the outbreak of the COVID-19 which saw some people lose employment while some businesses were closed due to the effects of the pandemic.
“I think we are seeing the beginning of a lost generation in the slums and villages – unemployed youths with no hope who just turn to drink as an escape,” said Mr Mwala a retired teacher.
Mr Mwala said there was urgent need to clamp down on the brewers as well as c onsumers.
“People brew at home. People brew in a garden. People brew in a garage somewhere. So they have no means of testing how much alcohol is in the contents of what they’ve produced. And then they go on and sell it directly to the people to consume,” he said.
One of the brewers, who sought anonymity, revealed that most of those brewing Kachasu have family background of having been doing the same business from generation to generation.
“You’ll also find there are families who have been brewing over generations as well. The knowledge is being passed on from person to person.
“It doesn’t take me long because I’m used to it. In a day, I can make two drums, in the morning and in the evening,” she added.