Local gin causes death of over 70 in Nigeria

Health officials announce that over 70 people died in Rivers, Nigeria, after consuming home-brewed gin

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Dozens have died in Rivers State, Nigeria after consuming a traditional gin named "ogogoro" by locals,which is said to contain vast amounts of methanol by health officials.

Permanent Secretary of the Health Ministry in Rivers state, Somiari Harry, announced on Monday that the deaths were recorded in five local government areas.

Harry told international news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the death toll so far recorded from the consumption of ogogoro is about 70.

The recent deaths have led to a state-wide ban on the manufacture, sale and distribution of the drink.

The director of the centre for disease control in Rivers state, Nnanna Onyekwere also confirmed the death toll and said there had been 80 reported cases in five local government areas. She continued her statement saying that samples of the drink have been collected and sent for laboratory examination.

Nnanna added that the NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) had found that the liquor contained large doses of methanol which is harmful to health.

Made from the juice of raffia palm trees, Ogogoro is a cheap western African drink which is brewed locally. The drink is most popular in Nigeria and is an essential part of religious and social events such as marriages and child-naming ceremonies.


TRTWorld and agencies