The police on Tuesday officially launched the Police Week, a month-long series of community development and anti-crime awareness activities as part of its 17th anniversary.
The Police Week 2017 will mainly focus on raising awareness against narcotic drugs, gender-based violence and child abuse, corruption, genocide ideology, human trafficking, fire outbreaks, environmental degradation and improving road safety.
The activities under the annual ‘Police Week’ flagship were launched in Kirehe (Eastern Province) and Gicumbi (Northern Province). This year’s theme is ‘Towards Sustainable Safety and Security.’
The official launch was attended by senior government and security officials, and thousands of residents, and started with special community work where about 10km of roads were rehabilitated or constructed, as well as the official handover of solar home systems, clean water sources and improved sanitation.
At least 117 households received solar systems in Rugarama Village of Giti Sector in Gicumbi, while 155 benefited in Nyamikori Village in Kigarama Sector in Kirehe.
Over 3,000 households and 30 health centres will have solar systems installed.
In Kirehe, four clean water sources were also inaugurated, serving some 500 households.
The activities in both Gicumbi and Kirehe also focused on the fight against illicit drugs, as both districts are major routes for drug dealers.
In Kirehe, Minister of Local Government Francis Kaboneka appealed to the residents and beneficiaries in particular to protect the new infrastructure.
He lauded RNP for “going beyond physical security to adopt the human security aspect to further improve the social well-being of Rwandans.”
"Light and evil don't move together; the solar energy you have been given should further supplement your development activities as you continue to be agents of safety by fighting anything that can cause insecurity and affect your peace,” Kaboneka said.
The Minister also emphasized the role of parents and bar owners to prevent youth from drinking alcohol, which is against the law.
The inspector general of police, Emmanuel K. Gasana, said that good collaboration between the police and the population had allowed the country to develop, which RNP continues to build on through community development.
“This is a time for the police to reflect on the success in the fulfilment of our mandate, but also to also lay strategies to sustain the achievements and stop crime,” Gasana said.
Illicit gin trade
In Gicumbi, RNP was joined by thousands of residents in Giti Sector to construct a feeder road in Rugarama Village of Gatobotobo Cell that connects Giti and Rutare Sector.
The Minister of State in charge of Energy, Water and Sanitation in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Germaine Kamayirese, highlighted the role of residents to break the illicit gin trade, which is still a challenge in the district.
“The solar energy, roads, clean water that police gave you is all meant to improve your social wellbeing and ensure sustainable security and development. However, we still have the obstacle of illicit drugs, which we should all address and report dealers,” she said.
Illicit gin worth Rwf 38.8 million was destroyed in Gicumbi in the last two months alone.
Earlier on, the artists’ association ‘Crime Ambassadors’ and RNP donated building materials and food stuff to Madeleine Mukarukaka, a vulnerable genocide survivor in Kirehe Sector.