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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Budget drinking: alcohol consumption in two Kenyan towns
Authors:Mutisya, DorothyISNI
Willis, JustinISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:alcoholic beverages
drinking customs
illicit trade
informal sector
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531050802682770
Abstract:The production and consumption of informal-sector alcohol continues to excite much popular debate in Kenya. This paper, based on research carried out in 2007, explores two facets of this phenomenon: palm wine in Mombasa and 'chang'aa' - illicitly distilled spirits - in Naivasha. It discusses the patterns of sociability associated with these beverages, and suggests that these may distinguish them from one another, and from formal-sector beverages. An effective decriminalization has allowed the trade in palm wine to grow in size, but seems not to have led to any significant developments in scale or technology, and most of those involved in the trade derive very limited income from it. While the production and sale of 'chang'aa' remains illegal, some of those involved in this trade seem to have accumulated a modest degree of wealth. The study provides no definitive evidence on consumption levels, though it would seem that palm wine consumption has probably increased in recent years on the coast, and that in Naivasha 'new generation' drinks (mostly, flavoured spirit-based beverages marketed in the formal sector) now account for a significant part of overall alcohol consumption. While there have been some public calls for the 'legalization' of informal sector beverages, the paper suggests that while there are arguments for this, it is not in itself likely to solve the problems which may be associated with alcohol consumption. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]