TANZANIA – The government in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania has suspended the production of banana liquor produced by TANBASI Investment in Rombo District for falling below the quality threshold stipulated by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS).
The Regional Commissioner, Stephen Kagaigai, revealed this following analytical results carried out by TBS that detected high levels of aseptic acid in the liquor, deeming the product unfit for human consumption.
Aseptic acid is an antiseptic solution containing hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), boric acid and salicylic acid, which is no longer in use.
He said the liquor is among the informal alcoholic drinks that greatly contribute to loss of the national labor force in Rombo area, increase of criminal activities and marriages conflict.
“When I came to this region, I was told by religious leaders that Rombo District has numerous liquor making factories producing poor quality alcoholic drinks that affect the health of users including death. So, I made a special visit to these factories and personally took away samples for laboratory examination. The results showed that the banana liquor is not fit for human consumption,” he said.
On his part, the TBS Northern Zone Manager, Happy Kanyeka said from the samples submitted, TANBASI factory showed that the liquor does not meet the required quality standards for human consumption.
“The liquor will from henceforth not be sold until after TBS makes an in-depth examination. we shall also look into the entire production process and will take more samples. The factory will only be opened after TBS gets satisfied with the liquor’s quality standard,” she said.
She informed that they would also visit all the other factories producing similar types of liquor in Kilimanjaro and the neighboring regions to determine whether they also meet the required quality standards.
According to IPP Media, Deogratius Tarimo, a resident in Rombo District noted that the step taken to take liquor samples for examination will help in bringing changes to the liquor production in the District.
“As for now, many of our youth are engaged in drinking sprees resulting in criminal activity including murder, marriages’ conflicts and we are asking the government to close down all liquor factories in Rombo District,” he said.
A survey conducted by Tanzania Breweries Limited and Ernst and Young in 2019, established that up to 55% of the market is dominated by illicit brew which includes traditional local brews and counterfeits.