Rwanda : Police elevates fight against drugs in schools
A police officer sensitizing Riviera High school students about drugs
The police have elevated the anti-drugs campaigns in schools by holding sessions especially in high schools to teach about the dangers of doing drugs.
According to Police the schools are targeted because drug abuse among the youth is one of the factors attributed to school drop-outs, while it partly threatens the country’s security.
One of the common drugs used in schools is cannabis, also known as marijuana and consumption of illicit liquor such as kanyanga and muriture.
As a result police says students have been addicted to the usage of these drugs, which has at times driven then into criminal acts like theft and assault which sometimes results into death.
“Some students perform poorly in schools because they engage in boozing after escaping from school while others end up smoking cannabis and other related drugs,” they say.
“This also results in students beating up their fellow students or teachers because they are under influence of these drugs; they engage in fornication or adultery and they end up having unplanned pregnancies.”
Article 594 of the penal code states that ‘any person, who consumes, injects, inhales , anoints him/herself with or makes any other unlawful use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of year to three years and a fine of Rwf50, 000 to 500, 000.
The anti-drugs campaigns have also been conducted in communities in different parts of the country.
They have resulted into a big number of dealers and consumers have been arrested and drugs seized and destroyed.
Police statistics show that a total of 1, 663 people were arrested countrywide between January and May this year for narcotics related crimes.
Over 1, 300 of those arrested that include both dealers and consumers are aged between 18 and 35 years.
About 1, 699 kilogrammes of cannabis and over 3, 868 litres of illicit brew were also confiscated.
The arrest of these people was possible, thanks to the commitment from the public who have provide information on the dealers.
The Ministry of Sports and Culture together with the Ministry of Education, Rwanda National Police, and National Youth Council have established clubs to fight the use and spread of drugs through the Anti-drug Abuse Clubs.