The Church has a vital role in sensitizing communities to climate change adaptation and its effects.
Regional director for Leadership for Environment and Development in Southern and Eastern Africa (LEADSEA) Professor Sosten Chiotha said on Monday in Zomba at Namingâ€™asi Farm Training Centre during the opening of the two-day Faith Leaders Training Workshop.
“As leaders who meet members every day, you have an obligation to sensitise the people through biblical scriptures in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
“They can sensitise the whole society from the grass roots and bring awareness. We expect you through your church services to incorporate climate change messages,” said Chiotha.
Deputy general secretary for Blantyre Synod, the Reverend Clifford Nyekanyeka, said Church and climate change can not be separated because when floods hit the community, people take refugee in churches.
“climate change is biblical because in Genesis 1 when God created the world, He gave man stewardship to look after that creation; hence the need for the Church and climate change to be related Biblically,” said Rev Nyekanyeka.
He added: “Effects of climate change affect both the church and society; hence, the need for the Church to mainstream climate change messages on how the community can adapt.”
He said the church has the duty to feed the displaced community and provide care and support when they are sick. “We need to empower our members so that they understand and make informed decisions when such calamities occur,” said Rev Nyekanyeka.
Blantyre Synod of the CCAP, co-funded by LEADSEA and the Presbyterian Church of Canada, organised the workshop. It attracted 60 participants including church ministers and representatives from all 18 presbyteries of the Blantyre CCAP synod.
Most participants interviewed at random said the workshop would help them to sensitise their church members and communities to how to boost harvests in view of its effects.
“This growing season most families did not harvest much and were affected. It seems that people require more awareness on how to escape effects of climate change,” said Reverend James Mingu.