Editor's Comment

Everyone must make Zambia clean, healthy

RURAL TOURISM

THE voice of the Church is very appropriate in so many matters that affect us as a nation and its desire to make the “Make Zambia Clean, Green and Healthy” campaign succeed is significant.
The Catholic Church in Choma has added its voice to the monthly cleaning exercise which is being frustrated by, strangely, some Christians.
The Catholic Church is genuinely appalled that Christians shun the monthly cleaning exercise when it is their responsibility to take care of the environment.
St. Mary’s Parish priest Athanasius Mtefura is right when he observes that under normal circumstances, Christians should be the ones to engage Government in cleaning programmes and not vice versa.
President Edgar Lungu declared every last Saturday of the month a day of cleaning as part of the “Keep Zambia Clean, Green and Healthy” campaign but the participation has not been good in Choma and other towns in the last few months.
The Church is very key in implementing this policy. And it is a very important one.
That is why Father Mtefura is concerned because cleanliness is next to godliness and if children of the Almighty God will shun such moral obligations, then where does it leave Christians?
After all, it is said that charity begins at home and Christians are expected to be the light and salt of their communities.
Obedience is the hallmark of Christianity.
But Zambian Christians would rather sing and dance in church as well as perform other rituals but are not interested in the status of their surroundings.
Fr Mtefura’s counsel is, therefore, timely because he is not just addressing Catholic faithful but the entire body of Christ.
His voice is very appropriate in that it can influence the behavioural change.
It is a pity that our Christians do not link Make Zambia Clean, Green and Healthy to disease prevention.
The advocacy by Fr. Mtefura is timely and should be supported by the pastors’ fellowship throughout the country.
There is need for the Church to own the programme by mobilising their members to participate in the implementation of this noble programme.
Christians should know that it is their responsibility to take care of the environment. That is why the voice of the Church is very critical in the Make Zambia Clean, Green and Healthy campaign.
The Church is the biggest constituency which can champion and advocate for a clean, green and healthy Zambia in the wake of the recent cholera outbreak as well as climate change.
Members of the various churches must appreciate the campaign and act on it. Christians should be the champions of this agenda.
Faith leaders should use the pulpit and fellowships in communities to engage their members and explain these policies.
Let us all campaign for a cleaner Zambia and find solutions from the members of the public themselves. Keeping our premises clean starts at household level and spreads to the whole community.
Fr Mtefura has identified the root cause of the problem: apathy by Christians.
Apathy may point to lack of leadership. Therefore, Fr Mtefura and his colleagues in the pastors’ fellowship should provide the leadership as well as lead by example.
It should be in every citizen’s mind that just because President Lungu launched the campaign, it does not mean government workers will be doing all the work.
It is not civil servants who are going to keep Zambia clean, green and healthy, but it is the responsibility of everyone.
Let everyone get involved.



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