Abuja: About 70 people have died in Nigeria after drinking home-brewed gin that was found to contain large amounts of methanol, senior health officials have said.
Somiari Harry, permanent secretary of the health ministry in Rivers state, said deaths from consuming the gin – known locally as ‘ogogoro’ – were recorded in five local government areas in the country’s oil-rich south. He said: ‘The death toll so far recorded from the consumption of ogogoro is about 70.’
Ogogoro is a west African alcoholic drink usually brewed locally and popular in Nigeria, where it is made from the juice of raffia palm trees and sold cheaply. Alcohol content can range from 30 to 60 percent.
The deaths, which first came to light earlier this month, have led to Rivers imposing a total, state-wide ban on the manufacture, sale and distribution of the drink.