The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Church Launches Anti-Drugs Campaign

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) yesterday launched a campaign in Nyamirambo, a city suburb, to sensitise the public against the use of drugs.

The initiative began with a match by students from various schools and members of the public from the national stadium in Nyamirambo via Bilyogo and Kimisagara to UCKG.

Those who participated in the campaign held placards with various messages warning the public against drugs. Some read "We can live without using drugs.'

Pastor Ezekiel Motsoeneng of UCKG said that the decision to start the campaign through the mentioned areas was based on the reports of drug abuse by the residents.

"We decided that as a church, it is also part of our responsibility to educate the public against the habits that may not ruin the future of individuals, but also affect the entire population," Motsoeneng said.

He told Sunday Times that although it is reported that there are cases of drug abuse in other areas, reports indicate that drug abuse in Nyamirambo is alarming.

Nyamirambo is one of Kigali's suburbs with well-known entertainment spots that operate until late in the night. Residents say that among others, it was one of the factors of increased drug abuse in the area.

This latest move to fight drug abuse follows a series of initiatives by private organisations and the government, not only among the general population, but even in schools.

Students who took part in the campaign yesterday confirmed the reports of drug abuse in schools. Yves Tuyishimire, a student of Camp Kigali Secondary School said that their school has put in place measures of fighting the habit.

"With these clubs, the school organises specific days on which various activities are conducted in sensitising students about the effects of using drugs," said Tuyishimire.

Last year, the Ministry of Youth and ICT conducted a survey in 20 districts whose findings indicated that 52.5 per cent of the youth in Rwanda have at least once taken drugs, and 92.7 per cent of that population group kept on consuming them.

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