Police takes awareness against COVID-19 to island communities

On 21 March 2021 at 05:19

The Rwanda National Police (RNP) Marine unit has launched an outreach programme targeting communities living in islands to educate them on measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as crime prevention.

The outreach exercise was launched on March 18, at Bugarura Island of Lake Kivu in Rutsiro District.

The awareness campaign is conducted jointly with local authorities and other community policing groups.

The Police Marine Unit also handed over 700 face-masks to vulnerable residents at Bugarura Island.

While speaking to 65 grassroots leaders at Bugarura Island, ACP Elias Mwesigye, the Police Marine Unit Commanding Officer (CO) appealed to the leaders to take lead in guiding and educating the residents on health and safety measures against COVID-19.

The meeting was also attended by the executive secretary for Boneza sector, Christophe Mudahemuka, heads of Isibo, village chiefs, community health workers and heads of youth groups.

ACP Mwesigye enlightened the participants on the national measures to contain the spread of the pandemic in the country.

He, however, reminded them that although restrictions to prevent the spread were easied and some of activities allowed to resume, the pandemic is still around which requires maximum compliance with the health guidelines like wearing face mask at all times, washing hands, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary movements.

"Some people on this island cross to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); first, cross-border movements are prohibited in this period but again those who violate this directive use illegal borders to engage in illegal cross-border activities like smuggling and drug trafficking," ACP Mwesigye said, calling for ownership and strong partnership against such practices

With the communities on Bugarura Island relying mainly on fishing, the CO urged them to follow fishing guidelines and avoid any illegal practices leading to fish depletion including the use of substandard and illicit fishing gears, respecting the biological break and 50 metre buffer zone from the lake for those engaged in any farming activities.

The awareness campaign will continue to other Islands in the country.

The Executive Secretary for Boneza thanked Rwanda National Police for educating the communities on islands and reminded the grassroots leaders to take the safety messages to the people in their localties.

Bugarura island has a population of about 2000 people.