The New Times (Kigali)

20 January 2013

Rwanda: Prime Minister Habumuremyi Urges Children to Fight Drug Abuse

The Prime Minister Pierre Damiene Habumuremyi yesterday called upon children to own up and also play a role in the fight against drug abuse.

This was during the 8th National Children's Summit that was held yesterday at parliament under the theme; "The role of children in attaining their dignity."

Speaking during the summit, Habumuremyi emphasised the danger of abusing drugs and urged children not to ruin their lives and future through drug abuse.

He narrated to them real life stories of a number of bright children who were living good lives and attending good schools but whose lives were destroyed because of drug abuse.

"If you want to uphold your dignity, then you should shun drug abuse and help other children who are already involved in this harmful act. Children too have a role to play in this fight and we have now given you the task to play your role so that together we can end the challenge of drug abuse," he said.

He further called upon them to report to authorities people who abuse or supply drugs.

Sandrine Irafasha, 14, a student from Ngoma District, said that she hoped such forums would be decentralized to community level where leaders talk to them about such issues.

She added that they rarely get opportunities of their parents or elders sitting them down and discussing such pertinent issues that affect children and prevent them from having a bright future.z52.5 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, according to a study commissioned and conducted by the Ministry of Youth that was presented on March 15,2012.

It also further revealed that the onset age among the consumers and traffickers is as low as 11 years of age.

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