The Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance (Ketca) has released a report indicates that many night clubs, bars and restaurants in Nairobi County have complied with the shisha ban introduced two years ago, while equal number are also still breaking the law. Kenya is the third country in East Africa to ban the smoking of shisha, after Tanzania and Rwanda.
According to the survey released officially by Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance Chairman Joel Gitali which was conducted in 200 night clubs, restaurants and bars in six areas in Nairobi – Westlands, Parklands, Kasarani, Eastlands, Lang’ata and Mathare Valley and Pipeline sub-counties. “Overall, 82 per cent of the hospitality venues visited were found in compliance. However, there was considerable variation among the seven areas. The highest level of compliance was observed in Westlands (100 per cent),” noted Dr Salome Nyambura, a research consultant from Kenyatta University.
According to Dr Nyambura the lead researcher found that this was the case at almost two out of every 10 nightclubs and bars.In 2017, the Health ministry banned the sale of shisha in the country, making it illegal for sale by restaurants and night clubs, which had been making a fortune from the water pipe tobacco that is popular with young, urbane revelers.
The ban contained in a legal notice dated December 28 prohibits importation, manufacture, advertising, sale and use of shisha in commercial establishments such as restaurants and night clubs.
The government’s Gazette notice warned that anyone found contravening the rules will be “liable to a fine not exceeding Sh50,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.”
Shisha traders, users and players in the entertainment industry have urged the government to lift the ban stating that they’re losing many customers who prefer shisha use to alcoholic drinks.