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FEATURE: Don't Cry Tears Lest They Ask for Water
Lutheran Churches Urged to Protect Communities Threatened by Climate Change
KAJIADO, Kenya/GENEVA, 22 November 2009 (LWI) – Safiel Kulei's simple statement goes to the heart of the plight of many of his neighbors hit by consecutive years of drought in Kenya.
"I had 88 cows. I sold 50. The rest died. I have nothing at the moment. I have since moved to town," said Kulei, a farmer who is an evangelist with the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church (KELC).
Kulei is a member of the Maasai community inhabiting southern Kenya and neighboring northern Tanzania. The people's lives and economy are centered on livestock especially cattle, which are accumulated as a sign of wealth, traded or sold to settle debts, and slaughtered selectively. Before the current rains began, nearly three running years of drought decimated the community's economic mainstay and livelihoods.
"As opposed to previous years, when the clouds formed, no rains fell," Kulei said when he welcomed participants in a Lutheran World Federation (LWF) African region consultation on climate change, food security and poverty. Delegates to the LWF conference had visited the KELC Olirium mission area in the southern district of Kajiado. "When children cried, they were told to make sure there were no tears since people may ask, 'Where did you get the water?'" he said, emphasizing the scarcity of water.
The final statement from the consultation on climate change, food security and poverty in Africa is posted on the LWF Web site at: http://www.lutheranworld.org/LWF_Documents/LWF-Climate_Change_Nairobi_Statement-EN.pdf
Read the full feature article at: http://www.lutheranworld.org/News/LWI/EN/2440.EN.html
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(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF currently has 140 member churches in 79 countries all over the world, with a total membership of 68.9 million. The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.)
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