Mangochi Catholic Diocese Bishop Montfort Stima has hailed the multi-million Millennium Challenge Account Malawi supported environmental management project being implemented in the district, saying it would go a long way in mitigating the global problem of climate change.
Stima was speaking on Saturday when the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace briefed him on the activities under the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) environmental management project being carried out in Mangochi.
“The timely grant was made to fill the gap created in trying to respond to a global problem of climate change which has grave implications on our environmental, social, economic, and political status,” Stima said.
Stima observed that environmental problems which manifest through sedimentation and severe erosion in Shire River Basin and its catchment area is a phenomenon which affects the performance of electricity generation.
“You’ll agree with me that unsustainable agricultural practices and land management activities are some of the factors that are resulting in Malawi currently grappling with intermittent power supply.
“Economically, this is the critical time when we need energy for our economy to thrive to run the industries when there are overt signs of donor fatigue, national budget implemented with no or minimal external financial support due to the infamous cash gate among other reasons,” he added.
He noted:“Inflation rate is skyrocketing hence prices of goods and services are increasingly going up.”
The prelate pointed out that deforestation for agricultural purposes remains the biggest cause of global warming which affects the availability of essential resources such as drinking water, energy and agricultural production.
“It is disheartening that wanton cutting down of trees has left our once beautiful Malawi bare and polluted. Were in January 2016, yet some parts of the country farmers have not yet planted their crops due to the dry spell influenced by El Nino,” Stima emphasised.
Stima lamented that most Malawian farmers whose livelihoods depend on natural reserves and eco-systematic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry have no alternative financial activities and resources to adapt to climate change.
He, therefore, echoed the Holy Fathers call that human beings were being called to be instruments of God by making the Earth what the creator intended it to be and correspond with God’s plan for peace.
The head of the Catholic Church in Mangochi also appealed to beneficiary communities in the area of T/As Chowe to own and sustainably utilise the environment, noting: ultimately the initiative benefits a larger community and making the earth a better place to live in.
On this note, Stima assured that the resources provided by MCA for the project would be utilised for the intended purpose following stringent principles of transparency and accountability.
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Mangochi Diocesan Secretary, Bruno Banda said the commission received K190 million alongside other non-governmental organisations to implement an environmental and natural resources management, social and gender enhancement project.
According to Banda, CCJP which was mandated to carry out its activities in T/A Chowe’s area has already trained communities in joint family budgeting, lobbied with men and local leaders to involve women in decision making processes, besides establishing village natural resource management committees.
“The next thing on the agenda is distribution of livestock and establishment of adult literacy classes to empower participating communities with information to better manage the environment,” said Banda.
The three year project spans from August 2015 to July 2018.–ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :