Religion of Saturday, 21 December 2013
The Most Reverend Mathias Kobina Nketsia, Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast has said keeping a clean environment and caring for nature is a religious and moral responsibility of all Christians.
He said the indulgence in drug abuse; stealing, corruption, drunkenness and other social vices were not the only sins, but not keeping ones’ environment un-clean or depleting it, are equally a sin.
Archbishop Nketsia who is also in charge of the Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese, said this at the inauguration of 70 District and Parish Environmental Oversight Committees (ECOs) in Cape Coast.
ECO is a Catholic Church-based project established in the Cape Coast Archdiocese with an objective to ensure environmental conservation, as well as to care for the Earth. It is sponsored with funds from Missio and Misereor of Germany.
Archbishop Nketsia pointed out that God created mankind and asked him to cultivate and care for the garden of Eden and also to make the world prosperous; noting that the present generation can only be prosperous if people stop polluting the water bodies; littering the streets, as well as engaging in galamsey and other activities that fast deplete the environment.
He commended ECO for coming up with the project, and urged members of the various oversight committees of ECO to take the project seriously to enable it to achieve set goals and objectives.
He also asked the committee members to, apart from cultivating woodlots, also venture into other projects such as bee-keeping, grass-cutter and rabbit rearing, and mushroom farming.
Archbishop Nketsia said “people complain that there were no job avenues in the system, but there are activities and projects such as the ECO project which could serve as major sources of employment.”
He urged the Committees to be crusaders of ECO in their various communities and endeavor to undertake projects that are environmentally friendly.
He asked the management of ECO to intensify its public education on the activities of the Project since much was not known about it.
Mr Peter Kuusaana Canicius, Director of ECO, explained that the ECO office seeks to promote care for the earth as a moral and religious responsibility in the Cape Coast Archdiocese.
He said the ECO office also develop and promote practical attitudes in which care for the Earth becomes the a way of life for parishes, individuals and communities; and that it also organizes workshops for church leaders, catechists and religious societies to enable them integrate care for the earth into religious formation and also demonstrate how to live in harmony with nature.
Mr Kuusaana recounted that the ECO project which started in 2010 directly targeted about 1,110 people while 1,699,105 were indirectly targeted.
He explain further that the direct group composed of people from 10 parishes, Municipal /District Assemblies, groups and institutions in all four deaneries of the Cape Coast Archdiocese of the Catholic Church
The project director said the project has also succeeded in motivating local assemblies in Twifo Praso, Winneba, Awutu Breku and seven other districts to evacuate refuse dumps and provide litter bins for the use of their local people.
Mr Kuusaana said in all the 10 parishes, ECO established woodlots and have planted about 600 trees on church lands and plots of individuals and schools, and that, three parishes this year processed charcoal from their woodlots to the tune of 60 bags.
The Project Director however expressed concern about the lack of concern for the environment which he said was evident in many communities where choked gutters, indiscriminate dumping of solid and liquid waste, polluted water bodies and impoverished soils were common sights.
The 70 committee members were all presented with leadership certificates as a form of investiture to enable them go back to their parishes and districts assemblies to play leading roles in caring for the environment as a moral and religious responsibility.