Residents of Burera District have created 10 clubs specifically mandated to fight against trafficking of Kanyanga, an illicit gin banned in the country.
The clubs are located in the sectors of Cyanika, Kagogo, Kinyababa, Butaro, Kivuye, Bungwe, Gatebe, Rusarabuye, Rwerere and Ruhunde, all of which sit on the borderline.
The idea to form the clubs came from residents as a strategy to partner with the Police to break the chain of supply of Kanyanga, whose traffickers mainly use porous borders points at these sectors as a transit route.
Each of the clubs consists of 15 members whose voluntary mandate is to identify people involved in trafficking Kanyanga, the routes used and share information with security organs.
They also committed to engage in awareness campaigns sensitising residents on fighting drug abuse and illicit gin in particular.
While launching the clubs on October 27, the Mayor of Burera, Florence Uwambajemariya, commended the residents for the sole initiative, which she said that it responds to the challenge of Kanyanga.
The official launch of the anti-Kanyanga clubs that brought together about 1500 residents was also attended by Police and other security organs.
The event also included the public destruction of illicit gin seized in the 10 sectors in varied operations.
The substances destroyed include 300 litres of Kanyanga, 468 cartons Blue Sky, 134 cartons of Leaving Waragi, 70 cartons of African Gin, 16 cartons of Chase Waragi, seven cartons of chief waragi, four cartons of Host Waragi, and one kilogram of cannabis.
The gins that were destroyed are classified as illicit and a narcotic drug. Burera is one of the districts where the crude gin is still high.
Rwanda also banned all alcoholic drinks packed in sachets as part of the general ban on plastic bags.
In her address to the residents, Mayor Uwambejemariya noted that although the 10 sectors are prone to illicit substances sneaked in from neighbouring countries, the clubs present a lasting solution to the war against drugs trafficking.
“The formation of these clubs represents your will and ability in ensuring safer communities through partnership with security institution under the auspice of community policing, to identify, fight and prevent crimes,” the mayor said.
“Young people like you are subject to peer pressure and influence from bad elements in the society, but you always have a choice to say no and to report such elements,” she added.
The station commander of Rusarabuye, Chief Inspector of Police Herman Munyabarenzi, thanked the residents for playing a key role in fighting drug abuse.