A boarding school in Zimbabwe banned several breakfast cereals after students used them to brew beer.
At least three schools in the south of the country have sent warnings to parents about bringing cereals from home, according to Zimbabwe’s Chronicle newspaper.
Students are said to create a powerful alcoholic beverage by combining cereals, typically made with sugar and sorghum, with yeast and brown sugar and then allowing the mixture to ferment in sunlight.
Last term, officials at one high school sent text messages to parents, saying their children would not be allowed back with either the powdered cereal Morvite or oatmeal porridge. Other schools followed have reportedly followed their lead, according to the Chronicle.
Local chemist Michael Dube told the Chronicle that the homebrew could pose a health risk to the students. “The danger of doing this is that there is no method to control the alcohol content,” he said. “Their beer might have high alcohol levels, which may be a threat to their health.”
Underage drinking is a growing problem for Zimbabwe, as many young adults engage in “Vuzu” sex parties, said to be home to drug and alcohol abuse.
Last month, police raided and arrested 224 students, some as young as 13, at a rowdy Vuzu party in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city.