The awareness against illicit drugs in the country continued Friday when Police was joined by partners including local authorities and Rwanda Biomedical Centre in a campaign conducted concurrently in at least ten districts.
The community sensitization campaign, which also tackled the issue of child pregnancy, was held in the districts of Muhanga, Gisagara, Karongi, Kicukiro, Rwamagana, Nyarugenge, Nyagatare, Nyanza, Huye and Musanze.
It comes at a time when Rwanda National Police (RNP) and other stakeholders have intensified efforts to combat the vice said to be still high among the youth and influencing other criminal activities like theft, domestic and gender based violence, and causing school dropouts, among others.
While addressing about 1000 youth in Muhanga district, the vice mayor in charge of Social Affairs, Fortune Mukagatana urged them not to engage in abusing such psychotropic substances reminding them that it is both illegal and have side effects to users.
Medical experts say that illicit drugs have health and psychological complications to addicts, including weakening the immune system, increasing susceptibility to infections and affecting one’s thinking and causes mental illness.
“You should play individual and collective responsibilities, whether you are at school or holidays to report drug dealers. A healthy, educated and focused generation becomes a resourceful assets for the family, community and the nation,” Mukagatana told the youth.
RNP has intensified operations in different parts of the country to break chains of supply especially cannabis, as means to prevent consumption.
At least 45 illegal distilleries that were making illicit brew, was closed in the Eastern Province alone, last month. This was after it came to light that only 20 percent of the 104 distilleries in the Eastern, were licensed.
A report by RBS released last month, also indicated that out of 27 distilleries inspected in the Northern Province, only seven fulfilled the requirements while 19 out of 32 found in the Southern Province were also closed.