ACK commits to scale up Climate Justice campaigns and Interventions
The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) is set to scale up its interventions in climate change action across the country. To strengthen existing efforts, representatives from all Dioceses will undergo training on effectively promoting ecological stewardship at the grassroots levels. The representatives, who will be the Church’s climate champions, include clergy from Dioceses and staff from the Anglican Development Services (ADS), the specialized Development arm of the Church.
The first set of champions was trained from the 21st of March, 2022 at the ACK St. Julians center. They were drawn from the ACK Dioceses of All Saints, Baringo, Embu, Garissa, Kajiado, Kericho, Kirinyaga, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Maralal, Marsabit, Mbeere, Mt. Kenya South and Mt. West; Murang’a South, Nairobi, Nakuru, Nyahururu, and Thika. The training for other Dioceses is set to take place in April- in two groups.
Rev. Leonard Gichangi from the ACK Diocese of Kericho represented his Diocese in the Training. The Diocese covers the three counties of Kericho, Bomet and Narok. The area is also home to Kenya’s largest water catchment tower and is the source of about 12 rivers. He says there is a need for increased awareness among the rural communities in the area to understand how their actions on their environment affect millions of people and animals who depend on the region’s natural Resources. He says that overreliance on trees for charcoal and firewood has significantly reduced the area’s tree cover, which is also grappling with an increase in the amount of land being cleared for agricultural use and Human settlement. “After this training, we will sensitize our communities on other alternative sources of clean energy to reduce deforestation,” he says.
Rev. Elijah Lesiangole represented the ACK Diocese of Maralal Diocese, which covers Samburu County. Communities in the county are largely pastoralist. “When I was young, there were many grazing fields available for our animals, and rivers providing water for our use,” he says, adding that much of the county’s ecosystem has been destroyed due to human activity. The recent drought witnessed in the country wiped off thousands of livestock, compromising the county’s economic and food situation.
Competition for pasture fields has also resulted in conflict as neighboring pastoralist communities move in search of animal feed. Rev. Elijah says that these circumstances have brought with them a lot of pain and suffering to the communities. He says that as a Church, they will mobilize communities to understand “their God-given responsibility in replenishing damaged ecosystems in the county.”
ACK seeks to use such capacity enhancement forums to strengthen the Church’s contribution to increasing awareness of the importance of eco-stewardship. The approaches used to achieve this include the promotion of – and supporting tree planting activities, encouraging proper waste management practices such as recycling, reusing, and reducing waste; and adoption of clean energy within communities. These interventions are backed by biblically backed messages on conservation, drawing from God’s intention for mankind that nature and human beings co-exist beneficially.
These trainings are being implemented as part of an Integrated Peace and Governance program supported by Bread for the World