Bishop Rotich was the chief guest at Kenya’s Interfaith National Environment Day, which also marked the launch of the new Kenya Interfaith Network on Environmental Action (KINEA) on October 4, 2014, at Tangaza University College, which is part of the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA).
He said: ‘Planting trees means planting seeds of contemplation, seeds of how to relate with ourselves and other people.’
In his opening speech KINEA chairman Father Charles Odira said: ‘We might differ in doctrines, but one thing I am sure we can all agree on is the fact that this Earth feeds all of us… and whatever affects it will affect all of us. So if we unite in saving and conserving the environment, then we have nothing to lose, not only for our own livelihood but also in honor of the Creator.’
'So if we unite in saving and conserving the environment, then we have nothing to lose, not only for our own livelihood but also in honour of the Creator'
– Father Charles Odira
The network engages in climate-change mitigation and livelihood improvement programmes. These include tree-planting on faith-owned/managed land and faith-based initiatives in education, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation.
Fr Charles Odira, who represents the KCCB in the network, described KINEA as ‘an umbrella body providing an opportunity for different religious groups to come together work for one goal: saving Mother Earth. If we consolidate our efforts in this way, we do not only become visible but we also make a positive impact on society'.
Guests also shared their work, including the Faith-Based Education for Sustainable Development Teacher’s Toolkit (to download click here), sustainable farming techniques, charcoal-briquette making and solar-energy stoves.
A special cake was cut to mark KINEA’s launch. The picture above shows, from left, Fr Charles Odira, Sr Mary Frances from JPIC-FA, Mrs Margaret Ooko of Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, Bishop Alfred Rotich, Raphael Magambo from A Rocha Kenya, Mrs Evelyn Gatune from the Presbyterian Church of East Africa and Fr Hermann Borg from Mother Earth Network.
Joyce Nthuku, Kenya Forest Service’s deputy ecosystem conservator, demonstrated the correct way to plant a seedling before Bishop Rotich and other guests planted trees to commemorate the two events.