Ely Maate, the Kigezi regional police spokesperson says they have tried their best to stop marijuana cultivation with little success.
Ely Maate, the Kigezi regional police spokesperson says they have tried their best to stop marijuana cultivation with little success. Maate says that the largest percentage of criminal offences in the region is related to drug abuse. On 19th August 2012, Police raided Kiyebe Parish Ruhija Sub County, which is known for marijuana cultivation forcing more than 500 people to flee their home.
According to the Police, every home in Ruhija Parish is engaged in the open cultivation and sell of marijuana. Farmers with gardens next to the fertile Bwindi National Park abandoned traditional farming for the illicit plant. Wilson Kakuru, a resident of Ndeego in Ikumba Sub County says they opted for marijuana cultivation because don’t do well in the area.
He says marijuana is less labor intensive and can’t be affected by both game and domestic animals. Felix Busesire another resident of Kiyebe Parish police is wasting time since the crop is popular and profitable. He says residents have for long been asking the leadership to provide alternative crops that cannot be destroyed by stray game animals from Bwindi National park in vain.
He says residents have gained a lot from the cultivation of marijuana and are able to send their children to school. In July 2013, Olivia Rosemary Wawire, the Kigezi Regional Police Commander wrote to the Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura asking him to liaise with the agriculture ministry to provide an alternative crop to residents to stop Marijuana cultivation.
This was followed by a campaign to popularize the growing of tea in the areas in question but this has failed to take root. Wawile says they will not relent on the fight to stop the cultivation, sell and consumption of marijuana. She says police will continue sensitizing residents about the dangers of planting the banned plant.
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She says Plans are also underway to establish a police post in Kiyebe Parish to check on the problem right at the source.
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