Nairobi News


Over 100 shisha pots seized in Kasarani during Nacada operation

Police on Tuesday, March 19, arrested two people and seized 109 shisha pots at Alfakher Lounge in Mirema Drive, Kasarani, following a crackdown by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA).

Patricia Wanza and Asmelder Wambui were arrested during the operation which ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning and other suspected contraband was also seized from the premises.

The overnight operation was conducted by Nacada in collaboration with officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

“220 flavours of gum, 400 coconut charcoal pieces, 16 charcoal carriers, 140 orange mint flavours, 29 mint flavours, 50 grape mint flavours and other items used in the consumption of shisha were seized,” police said in a statement.

Since December 2023, Nacada has intensified its crackdown to curb the sale and consumption of shisha products.

Also read: Banned Shisha smoking makes comeback in Eldoret

More than 60 raids have been carried out in clubs and party venues in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Earlier this month, Nacada raided Beirut, a popular nightclub in Nairobi, and arrested revellers smoking shisha.

In a statement, Nacada said the enforcement team caught four revelers in the act and also confiscated 5 shisha bongs and 24 packets of different flavours.

In 2017, Kenya introduced a comprehensive ban on shisha, including its use, importation, manufacture, sale, offer for sale, advertising, promotion, distribution and encouraging or facilitating its use.

“Any person who contravenes any provision of these regulations may, where a penalty is not expressly provided for in any provision of the Act, be liable to the penalty provided for in section 163 of the Act,” said then Health CS Cleopa Mailu on 27 December 2017, announcing the ban.

Dr Mailu also noted that in Kenya, shisha was a gateway to the use of other hard drugs such as heroin and bhang.

In 2014, before the ban, the anti-drug agency Nacada, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, banned 19 shisha flavours that were found to contain bhang, heroin and cocaine.

Also read: WATCH: Bahati puffs ‘shisha’ to celebrate achievements

According to the report, 79.2 per cent of the shisha samples collected tested positive for heroin.

“The findings indicate that adulteration of shisha with heroin may be an endemic problem in the country and there is a likelihood that shisha may be emerging as a smuggling route for heroin trafficking,” the report said.

Kenya became the fourth country in East Africa to ban shisha, after Uganda (ineffectively), Tanzania and Rwanda. But even after the ban, shisha is still widely sold in the country, especially in nightclubs.

In December, Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale called for intensified operations to crack down on shisha dens in nightclubs across the country.

Duale insisted that the ban on shisha must be strictly enforced to ensure that guilty owners and users are brought to justice.

“Shisha addicts must face the law as it has been illegal in Kenya since 2017. Law enforcement agencies must raid shisha dens,” he said.

Shisha is a glass-bottomed water pipe in which fruit-flavoured tobacco is wrapped in foil and roasted with charcoal. The tobacco smoke passes through a water chamber and is inhaled deeply and slowly.