A TOXIC TOUR! GREEN ANGLICANS JOIN OTHER FAITH LEADERS AT ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY WORKSHOP
Representatives from Four Dioceses (St Mark the Evangelist, Free State, and Kimberley and Kuruman) Mrs Ruth Pule, Rev Thomas Mhunriro, Rev Modise Peme and Makwetsa Ramusi attended the Faith Leaders Environmental Advocay training (FLEAT) run by Southern African Faith Communities Institute (SAFCEI), in Durban, South Africa. There were faith leaders from different faith groups and denominations. First were introductions where each person indicated the environmental challenges in their communities. Then an exercise on “carbon-footprint” was done it was an eye opener of the amount of damage we are contributing towards the damage of the environment.
There was presentation by the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) which made us aware how the industrial sector causes harm to the residents whom are living next to these areas. Also there was a documentary by Oceans Not Oil which educated us on the emergence of faith based movements to assist towards the protection of the marine animals.
A “toxic tour” to the industrial Durban was led by Dr Desmond D’Sa, the 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize winner and was an eye-opener. It is because there are many industrial sites which are built and are currently operating within residential areas. Some of these factories have caused harm towards the children and adults living in those areas, as they were affected by Tuberculosis and Cancer.
Lastly, each region which faith leaders were allocated to (Cape Town, Joburg and Limpopo, Free State and Northern Cape and Durban), were able to formulate an 8 months’ implementation plan. In this plan, each leader will have to launch an initiative which involves the church and the communities about environmental issues within their communities. The training will have a report-back session sometime next year. Would like to thank SAFCEI and Green Anglicans for this wonderful project of becoming environmental faith leaders of our churches and communities.
Makwetsa J Ramusi
Diocese of St. Mark the Evangelist