Deadly Kachasu incident sparks Government response, public debate in Zambia

Alcohol abuse

The tragic Kachasu incident that killed 20 people last month in Zambia has sparked a government response and public debate. While the Minister calls for collective efforts to curb production, some citizens argue for improving safety through research rather than an outright ban.

The Lusaka Times reported that NISIR can perform research that could resolve problems and turn Kachasu into an excellent locally brewed beer.

Implementing safety standards could preserve the cultural and economic significance of the informal alcohol industry while protecting public health – a balanced approach addressing concerns on multiple fronts. 

The broader challenge of alcohol misuse in Zambia requires a comprehensive plan involving economic development, education, and support for the local industry.

Recognizing the underlying socioeconomic factors, like lack of opportunities leading to Kachasu reliance, is crucial for developing sustainable solutions.

Past prohibition attempts have failed, underscoring the need for a more nuanced, collaborative approach to this complex public health issue.

Over many years, there have been recurring attempts to completely prohibit the ‘Kachasu’ drink, which is alleged to be life-threatening, however, such bans have consistently failed to come to fruition.

According to the Diggers online news, Nkombo spoke in response to a query from Lukulu East UPND MP, Dr. Christopher Kalila, who had raised the issue in the National Assembly, asking if the government was aware of the Kachasu-related incident.