Effectiveness and sustainability of the Catholic Church's environmental programmes in Chingola district of Zambia
KeywordsEnvironmental responsibilty--Religious aspects--Catholic church--Zambia
Environmentalism--Protection--Religious aspects--Catholic church--Zambia
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The study investigated the effectiveness and sustainability of the Catholic Church‟s environmental programmes in Chingola district of Zambia. The theory that guided the study was social ecology of Murray Bookchin (1990) which states that environmentalism was a social movement, and the problems it confronts were social problems. It, therefore, recommends that social solutions should be employed to protect the environment. The research design used in the study was a case study. The study employed qualitative approach that used the following research instruments to collect data: interview guides, focus group discussion, observation checklist and documents. The sample size was 28 participants. The following were purposively sampled, 1 diocesan pastoral coordinator, 1 director of Green Life Evolution, 1 Caritas director and 4 parish priests in Chingola district. And the following were randomly sampled for focus group discussions, 7 men, 6 women and 8 youths. Data was analysed according to emerging themes. The findings of the study revealed that, there were Catholic Church‟s programmes in Chingola District that are concerned with environmental protection. However, considering the participants‟ responses, the research found out that the Catholic Church‟s environmental programmes in Chingola District are not very effective. Only few people were aware of the Catholic Church‟s environmental activities. Despite the Church‟s sensitizations, it was revealed that only few people participated in planting of trees and appropriate litter disposal. Sustainability programmes such as monitoring, ongoing sensitization and security were not very effective. Basing on the above findings, it could be concluded that the Catholic Church‟s environmental programmes in Chingola district are not very effective and difficult to sustain.
The study recommended that the Catholic Church includes environmental issues in their catechism classes and that sensitization should not only be limited to the Catholic Church members only but work in partnership with other churches for the exercise to have greater impact. There is need for further research on how other religious organisations are contributing to environmental protection in Zambia