Libyan Moonshine Responsible for National Health Crisis

The Libyan version of moonshine is called bokha, and it’s become a national threat in a dry country that likes to drink. For those willing to spend some cash, a bottle of smuggled booze can cost upwards of $100, but for those without the means, homemade hooch is the more realisti—and risky—option.

A year ago, a methanol-spike batch of the stuff sent 1,500 citizens to Tripoli’s hospitals where dozens died, suffered brain damage and vision loss. Quoted in a piece on PRI‘s “The World,” a Libyan doctor “said the poisoning was the worst health crisis she’s had to deal with. That includes what she saw during the revolution.”

Because it’s so easy to make (water, sugar, yeast and optional fruit) and the government has turned a blind eye to the issue, bokha continues to be the most feasible option for thirsty Libyans. [PRI’s The World]