A total of eleven people have died in Rwanda’s south eastern district of Bugesera since Christmas Day after drinking a local brew made from bananas, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has confirmed.
Four other people who consumed the deadly brew are reported to be in hospital for treatment.
High levels of methanol, found in the stomachs of victims who drank the brew, could be linked to the deaths, according to the Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority.
Following the incident, five people have been arrested, including the brewery’s owner, the RIB has confirmed.
The Rwanda Authority had established that the brewery was operating without a licence, and its operations have been suspended, the RIB added.
A countrywide campaign has since been launched to clamp down on unauthorized local brews which can turn lethal to unsuspecting consumers.