Zim churches unite to protect the environment

THE Zimbabwe Church and Community Transformation Network (ZCCTN) has been launched marking the union of churches in the fight to mitigate climate change, better water and sanitation as well as environmental preservation and restoration.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

This network comprises of church affiliations such as the Ecumenical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) and some white garment churches.

Secretary for the Food Security Department within ZCCTN Pastor Cleopas Munowekwenyu said the network has good three thematic areas.

“As ZCCTN we have got three thematic areas that is water and sanitation, climate change and food security. Our main duty or thrust as an organisation is to advocate for sufficient food, good climate and environment. We are saying give them food to drink, give them drink and the Earth is the Lord’s, and everyone has the right to live on Mother Earth,” he said.

He also said they are the public to ensure it protects and preserves the environment.

“We are teaching our congregants, our community members, our leaders, and policy makers and engaging them so that we have a healthy environment. You find that the three thematic areas are interwoven and intertwined. Actually, you can put them on an equilateral triangle. They are all equal. For food production you need a better climate to produce food. Water and sanitation also depend on a clean environment. They are intertwined. We are advocating and teaching the public to have a clean environment,” Pastor Munowekwenyu said.

Pastor Munowekwenyu also said it is important for urban residents to keep their environment clean by picking up litter whereas for the rural folk ensuring that mining is done in an environmentally preservative way.

Shamiso Mupara co-founder and executive director of Environmental Buddies Zimbabwe an organisation that focusses on sustainable management of forest resources for the benefit of communities.

“I need to start by saying that we need to take note that since 2001, Zimbabwe has been losing 3 000 hectares every year. That is a lot considering there is no matched efforts to replant those trees. That amount of degradation has various impacts on normal day to day living of people.

“So for most communal areas, forests are the first line of treatment as they go for medicinal herbs, they get their firewood, and construction materials,” she said.

She said construction, firewood, tobacco farming are driving deforestation.

“Major drivers in Zimbabwe include firewood, settlements, agriculture mainly the surge in tobacco growing. I am not saying tobacco growing is bad but it should be done in a sustainable way. It contributes so much to deforestation because a lot of tobacco is cured using firewood,” she said adding deforestation also affects respiratory health, and water and sanitation.

She said it was heartening to see churches coming together with one voice for the sake of preserving and nurturing the environment.







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