Over 50 people, a majority of them school going children, were taken ill at a village in Trans Nzoia County after consuming milk suspected to have been laced with a poisonous substance on Tuesday. About 26 of the patients were rushed to Kitale County hospital where they were admitted, three of them in critical condition, after the incident that some believe was orchestrated by an employee at a local dairy farm following a misunderstanding between him and his employer. Police have arrested the worker.

According to residents, the milk vendor distributed milk to every homestead in the village but shortly after consuming the milk they started feeling sick with most of them experiencing severe stomachaches.

Area assistant Chief Susan Mwale told Citizen Digital that some of the residents experienced lethargy and dryness of the mouth.

Another resident narrated that her children were drowsy and falling asleep with no explanation.

Some of the residents noted that the milk did not taste like normal milk.

This comes just one day after the Kenya Dairy Board announced that some of the milk in the market is contaminated.

According to KDB, a big number of milk importers in Kenya are not registered and most of their products are unapproved, which poses a great risk to consumers.

An article appearing in Business Daily listed Ruiru-based Alidi Kenya Limited, Safacom Trading Company, RH Devani Company, Jacky’s Kenya, and Roza Kind East Africa among those mentioned by KDB as unregistered importers.

Some of the milk powder on sale had previously been declared unfit for human consumption owing to the presence of adulterants such as melamine, heavy metals such as lead and radioactive materials.

In a statement signed by the acting managing director Humphery Maina, KDB said that some of these brands couldn’t be traced, verified or tied to any of the permits the board issued in the recent past.

However, the board has embarked on removing these products from the retail market and to prefer charges against the traders.

“The quality and safety of such products cannot be verified as there were no regulatory controls during the importation process,” he said.

Alidi Kenya Limited is the first Russian logistics and distribution company to start up in Africa which launched operations in Kenya in 2013 and has since been appointed by Nestlé as the sole distributor of its products in Kenya.

In the report, the board said, “There is need to investigate Nido brands to confirm if they are original products of Nestlé.”

Nido is a brand trusted by most mothers as it offers a complete range of milk and milk-based products that offer nutrition solutions for each stage of childhood.