Police in Kirehe district discovered a 10-hectare marijuana plantation in a swamp along the Akagera River, Eastern Province.
The plantation was unearthed during an operation conducted by joint forces in partnership with villagers. The plantation has been uprooted and the plants destroyed.
The owner of the plantation, Eric Ndayisaba, escaped arrest, but Police said efforts to apprehend him are underway.
The Head of Police Ant Narcotic Unit, Superintendent Janvier Ntakirutimana, who was part of the team that cordoned off the area, said residents were supportive during the operation because the Police has been sensitizing the public on the effects of drug abuse through community policing.
SP Ntakirutimana said drug abuse is a big threat to national security and development. According to The World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 200 million people worldwide abuse drugs at least once a year, of which 25 million are declared addicted. Each year, 2.5 million people die globally from drug abuse-related illnesses.
In a separate development, Police launched a country wide campaign in schools against drug abuse. The exercise was conducted by the directorate of community policing.
The campaign will cover 100 secondary schools, 20 from each province based on the level of drug abuse and indiscipline cases reported d.
According to the Director of Community Policing, Senior Superintendent W.M Higiro, Community Policing helps reduce drug abuse and related crimes through information sharing from anti- drug clubs in schools.
He said students will soon go on a three-month holiday. During the holidays, students tend to engage in bad acts such as drug abuse and premature sexual behaviours. This is the right time to sensitize them about the effects of drug abuse.
“It will also help in crime reduction, cut down unwanted pregnancies and reduction of spread of HIV and other STD,” he said.