TANZANIA: Bishop Kasonde Insists it is Time to Act on Environmental Concerns

By Odiwuor Opiyo

DAR-ES-SALAAM, JULY 15, 2022 (CISA) – At the ongoing 20th Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) Plenary Assembly in Dar-Es-Salaam, Rt Rev Charles Kasonde, the Chairperson of AMECEA, intimated that it is time for people to take action and have a change of heart towards environmental restoration as, “That is the only way left for us to escape the judgement that humanity has inflicted on himself by being cruel to mother earth.”

The local ordinary of the Catholic Diocese of Solwezi in Zambia, speaking during his homily on the fourth day of the plenary urged, “We have seen, we have judged and now it is time to act with the hearts that are converted in the Spirit of God.”

According to a report by AMECEA, the bishop warned that integral human development should not be a reason for environmental destruction.

“Environment does not impact negatively on integral development and ultimately our integral human development does not become a root course of injuring our dear mother earth,” he said citing the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si, “What is expected of us is the conversion of heart that leads to practical commitment to saving our common home.”

Bishop Kasonde, moreover, mentioned the commitment of the heads of state to discussing environmental concerns including the “reduction of poisonous emissions which contribute to the messing up of our mother earth.”

The delegates were later hosted to a dinner at Statehouse by Her Excellency Samia Suluhu who pledged support saying; “The ruling CCM political party, the Opposition, Civil Servants Organizations (CSOs) and the religious groups in Tanzania have pledged their support on efforts to address environmental related issues like human degradation that has been brought about by us human beings.”

“Dear Bishop Charles Kasonde, I want to assure you that the Tanzanian government recognizes the importance of the AMECEA meeting on the environment.  You, religious leaders, have shown your impact on our society. I request you to share your AMECEA resolutions with the government so that my government can see how we can converge for implementation,” President  Suluhu.

This year’s plenary is a reflection on Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’ and deliberates on issues on the care of creation under the theme ‘Environmental Impact on Integral Human Development.’