Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) operating in Gicumbi District have created a platform where they will use gospel music and crusades to rally the public especially the youth, to shun and fight sell and use of narcotic drugs.
The decision to create the platform was arrived at during an inter-religion meeting held on January 10, and drew over 1500 members of the Anglican, Catholic and ADEPR religious denominations.
Gicumbi and the neighboring district of Burera are one of the major hotspots and transit routes of drug smugglers in the Northern Province, especially banned gin like Kanyanga, chief waragi and zebra waragi, among others.
In August last year, illicit gin including 3, 060 litres of Kanyanga, 651 cartons of Chief and Kitoko Waragi and 19680 sachets of Blue Sky, all valued at Rwf17. 5 million were destroyed in Gicumbi.
Later in October, other 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 were seized and destroyed Burera.
In his address to the congregation, the Mayor of Gicumbi Juvenal Mudaheranwa, said: “We can’t have safety where there are narcotic drugs. The war against drugs can’t be left to security organs only. We all have to play a role in putting an end to this vice, and this forum is one of the examples of effective response.”
The District Police Commander (DPC) of Gicumbi, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Dan Ndayambaje noted that by reversing the trend of abuse of drugs, they will have tackled the root-cause of criminality.
“Abuse of drugs inflicts serious damage on societies. Accidents, crime, domestic violence, illness, lost opportunity, and reduced productivity are the direct consequences of illicit substance abuse. Drug use erodes human potential. It is associated with a broad array of antisocial behavior that limits consumers from the outset of their lives,” said CSP Ndayambaje.
He thanked them for taking a step further to ring the bell and to support the existing community policing efforts against the vice, which is still relatively high in Gicumbi.
Pastor Sylvestre Ngwabije of the Anglican Church said that they would use all possible means to ensure they support the police in blocking routes used by traffickers and convert consumers, by engaging members in their respective churches to report the dealers and routes used in trafficking.