Residents of Burera District have created 10 separate clubs that are strictly mandated to fight against trafficking of Kanyanga, an illicit gin banned in Rwanda.
The clubs are located in the sectors of Cyanika, Kagogo, Kinyababa, Butaro, Kivuye, Bungwe, Gatebe, Rusarabuye, Rwerere and Ruhunde, which touches 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 that uses the borderline 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 sensitizing 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 he 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 liters 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 poured 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 Uwamariya noted that although the ten sectors are prone to illicit substances sneaked in from neighboring countries, the clubs present a lasting solution to this effect.
“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 noted.
The station commander of Rusarabuye, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Herman Munyabarenzi, who thanked the residents for taking an upper hand, spoke at length about the effects of drug abuse.
“Drug consumption may lead the user into other bad things and the end results effect family, community and the national development; that’s why we urge you to avoid taking that path,” CIP Munyabarenzi said.
He said that crimes like domestic and gender based violence, petty theft and sexual related crimes have been linked with abuse of illicit drugs.
He further urged them to add value to community policing initiatives like community night patrols – Irondo – neighbourhood watch and working with the police and local leaders by proving information on drug dealers and criminals in general, which he said will create a concrete wall against all sorts of crimes.