The Malawi council of churches-MCC has urged people in the country to consider family planning in order to address the increase in population growth.
The call was made at Dwambazi in Nkhotakota where MCC has embarked on a series of trainings of population.
Speaking on the sidelines of the trainings MCC’s programs coordinator M’theto Lungu disclosed that the increase in population growth has put a strain on the demand of utilities on people.
“Churches are also feeling the impact of increased population growth. There is a huge demand for resources and services due to the increased population growth. For example there is a huge demand of land which has brought in its own many problems in our communities” he said.
According to Lungu there is a need for the church to lead in training and sensitizing people about issues of increased population growth and how this was affecting the country’s development.
“Statistics indicate that the christian community in the country is over eight percent. This is why we believe that the churches are a right channel to send people messages. We want churches to start initiating the debate and teach people on planning on their families. Like here in Dwambazi we have trained 20 couples and 10 youths on these issues. We believe these people will in turn transfer the message to other members of the community. Lungu said.
Meanwhile Lungu has disclosed that MCC is using the trainings to empower people with information on how they can participate in addressing challenges the country is facing.
“ We are calling this project Churches Action on population and development(ChurchACT). Through this project we train people to be vehicles of communication on Gender Based Violence-GBV, environment, economic empowerment, local and rural development, planning of the family and many other issues.” He said.
In an interview one of the participants Reverend Raphael Banda described the training as an eye opener to church leaders and their followers.
“I am humbled to have participated in this training. It has opened my eyes on issues of family planning. as an individual I wished I had this training way back. I could have done better on planning my family. But it is not too late because a pastor I know I can do better. I am now fully aware of the impact of increased population growth and I am quite sure I should encourage my flock on the need to make a proper plan for their families. I have a duty to encourage people to plan how many children they can have in a family and how they plan to take care of them. I know this is an area I have not talked much with my flock despite being of paramount importance”
Another participant Leah Matenje expressed gratitude for training saying it has changed her attitude towards many things like family planning and population.
Said she, “I realize today that many of the problems we are facing are self-made. Like for instance we are cutting down our trees and destroying the environment because there is huge demand for trees due to increased population. We have so many land wrangles due to the fact that the population has increased. We have put more pressure on the government to provide us with resources and services and often times it is not sufficient because we are just too many lacking economic empowerment. We are failing to send our children to school due to lack of resources and even when they go learning and teaching materials are inadequate and the teacher pupil ratio I just that big. All this is because we are failing to plan. We need to start considering these issues and take action”