Zomba Nyahbingi Rastafarian House has said religious institutions have a critical role in the fight against environmental degradation in the country.
The Rastafarians made the call last Saturday at Emperors’ View in Zomba Mountain during the celebration of 52 years since Emperor Haile Selassie visited Malawi in 1965.
Preaching from Psalms 121:1-8 Ras Batawe said the psalmist talked about mountains in the cited chapter as they (mountains) were regarded as the habitation of God as both living and non-livings things dwelled there.
Batawe said the current environmental degradation is a mockery to God as some animals plus vegetation have died out due to human activities over the environment.
He called on religious institutions to join hands in rehabilitating the mountains and other protected areas if they are to fulfill the mandate God gave them of taking care of the environment.
“Religious institutions should not only focus on the spiritual parts of their followers but also the physical and environment part as they all crucial in the development of the human being,” he said.
Ras Lion Dread agreed with Batawe, adding that civic education from nursery and primary schools on the importance of the environment can help the country to eradicate wanton cutting down of trees.
He cited an example that when children are initiated to environment issues at a tender age they will grow up into citizens that have respect for the environment.
“Let us remember that children are in majority and if we don’t teach them the significance of the environment at grassroots level they might turn into accelerators’ of environmental degradation,” he said.
Acting plantations manager for Zomba Mountain, Kondwani Chimphonda, commended the Rastafarians for their interest in disseminating messages of environmental preservation.
“We are committed to supplying tree seedlings to any religious institution that has passion of recovering the environment through afforestation,” said Chimphonda.n