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Archives February 2019

The Bishop planting his tree at the school during the Launch
“Make Electricity Reliable and Easily Accessible to Save Trees,” Bishop Mtumbuka

By Elijah Banda

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has urged authorities to revisit energy policies to make electricity reliable and easily accessible, to reduce the demand on charcoal in urban areas, if the battle against deforestation is to be won.

The Bishop planting his tree at the school during the Launch
The Bishop planting his tree at the school during the Launch

The Bishop made these remarks on Wednesday when he presided over the launch of tree planting season for communities in the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Karonga at Nandanga Primary School in Chitipa, where a total of 1600 trees were planted.

Speaking to the hundreds of learners and communities members at the function, the Bishop acknowledged the reality of climate change and its effects, such as dry spells, flooding, pollution of water sources and pests such as fall army worms.

Early grade learner at Nandanga primary school planting a tree during the launch
Early grade learner at Nandanga primary school planting a tree during the launch

In his speech, the Bishop observed that efforts to curb deforestation, as a mitigation measure for climate change, cannot be addressed by one intervention such as tree planting alone.

Bishop Mtumbuka further asserted that if demand for charcoal is killed in urban centres there will be reduced need for cutting down of trees as charcoal production accounts for 20% of annual tree loss.

“If electricity continues to be a problem to town dwellers, who use charcoal, then the fight against deforestation cannot be won as number of planted trees and those that survive does not match with the energy demand by households, rendering tree planting efforts in vain,” Said the Bishop.

Part of the crowd during the tree planting launch
Part of the crowd during the tree planting launch

Speaking earlier at the function, Senior GVH Mgalure thanked Karonga Diocese for the initiative in his area also hit by effects of climate change such as flush floods in Songwe River, dry spells and increasing temperatures.

On his part, District commissioner for Chitipa District urged communities to keep on planting trees and taking care of them to improve the national tree survival rate, which is low.

The tree planting launch was graced by participants from Chitipa District council, Karonga Diocese technical staff, the media, non-governmental organizations working in Chitipa learners and community members.

As one way of complementing government’s afforestation efforts, Karonga Diocese through “Karonga and Chitipa Integrated Rural Development Project” is working with villages and schools in creating tree nurseries, and planting trees as well as conserving already existing through the use of energy efficient Changu-changu stoves.

Through the project, the Development Desk is planting 139,000 in Karonga and Chitipa districts over a period of three years (2017-2010). The project is being implemented with financial support from Misereor Germany.

Justice and Peace Desk Holds National Level Health Rights Engagement Meeting

By Obert Mkandawire

People of Karonga and Chitipa have expressed hope that access to health services will improve following the presentation of health rights demands to the Ministry of Health at the national level engagement and advocacy meeting.

Among the key stakeholders that attended the meeting which took place from 28 to 30 January, in Salima were Osisa Health Governance Project Implementation partners Episcopal Conference of Malawi and Malawi Health Equity Network. Also in attendance were Ministry of Health officials and representatives of Malawi Human Rights Commission.

The meeting followed the documentation of health rights concerns that the Justice and Peace Department in conjunction with its partners ECM and MHEN carried out from the 21st to 23rd of November 2018 in Karonga and Chitipa.

During the meeting, leaders of community governance structures from Karonga and Chitipa presented at least six petitions which were addressed to the Ministry of Health Headquarters.

Among key demands, Nelson Mwakisulu, the Chairperson for Kilupula ADC called for the immediate opening of Kaporo Rural Hospital which was closed by Medical Council of Malawi in September last year because of sanitation and safety concerns.

A similar petition was made by the Chairperson for Health Centre Management Committee (HCMC) for Mlare Health Centre Vyanangika Mkwala who called upon the Ministry of Health to renovate the roof of the health facility. Mlare Health Centre is temporarily operating at the Craft Centre pending renovation of its roof amid challenges such as inadequate furniture.

Secretary for Nthalire HCMC, Shadreck Mandevu, called for the upgrading of Nthalire Health Centre to the status of rural hospital since the facility is over a 100 km away from the Chitipa District Health Office. He also asked government to consider upgrading the road to bitumen standard to enhance delivery of referral cases.

Furthermore, the meeting enhanced the production of a compendium of health rights concerns from the two districts. The representatives presented their health rights concerns and their demands which were directed to policy makers. A follow up meeting to obtain feedback on the issues raised is slated for the month of February.

Community gathering after planting trees
Development Desk Supports Tree Planting in Mwangolera Village

[wowslider id=”9″]By Deodatus Muriya

The Development Desk of the Diocese of Karonga is supporting communties to plant trees in the 2018/2019 tree planting season. Among of the villages targeted in this year is Mwangolera  in the area of  TA Kyungu, in Karonga

On 13 February, 2019 the Desk carried out a tree planting exercise in the village. On the day, Principal Group Village Headman Mwangolera  assured the Diocese of Karonga and other stakeholders that he do everything possible to ensure that the trees planted survive by among other things protecting them from animals.

Mwangolera further thanked the Diocese for the various development initiatives in aid of his area. The traditional leader further asked the diocese to consider bee farming in the village woodlots as this may increase household income in his area.

Speaking on behalf of the Diocese of Karonga, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation Department; Deodatus Muriya assured the communities that the Diocese will continue supporting them in their afforestation drive by among other things helping them in raising nurseries and educating them on the benefits of investing in trees.

The event was attended by government officials, Non-Governmental Organisations working in the area and community leaders.

The Development Desk is expected to plant 139,000 trees in Chitipa and Karonga through the Integrated Rural Development Project in the 2018/2019 tree planting season with financial support from Misereor Germany.

Bishop Mtumbuka and TA Mwenemisuku
TA Mwenemisuku Hailed for Championing Peace among His Subjects

By Moses Raymond Kamanga

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has hailed Traditionl Authority Mwenemisuku for maintaining peace among his subjects and people in the area.

Bishop Mtumbuka made this remark at Misuku Center after officially launching the year of Missio Ad Gentes at which T.A. Mwenemisuku was present.

In his speech after the Eucharist Celebration, Bishop Mtumbuka noted that Mwenemisuku area has the least violence reports on record if any, as compared to other areas where the Diocese serves.

“I would like to commend you for the good job you are doing by making sure that you and your people live in peace. This is very commendable and I want you continue doing so. We as a Diocese are very happy with this and pledge to continue working with you” said Bishop Mtumbuka

Bishop Mtumbuka further advised T.A. Mwenemisuku not succumb to succession disputes caused by some chieftaincy non-lineage members who arise from nowhere and influence subjects with their wealth.

“I come from a royal family of Mwajimbura in Rumphi. It has a legacy of being 140 years. So, I know that chieftaincy succession is by blood not by wealth. So these people who come to disturb succession processes because they are rich should not be tolerated” advised Bishop Mtumbuka.

Speaking in a special interview, T.A. Mwenemisuku, whose birth name is Wedson Msukwa, disclosed that the main secret to maintaining peace is leading with humility.

“No one knows all things. As a leader I am always humble to listen to what my advisors say” acknowledged T.A. Mwenemisuku.

The Diocese of Karonga serves within the area that is under the following traditional leaders; Nthalire, Mwenewenya, Mwaulambia, Mwenemisiku, Kameme in Chitipa and Kyungu, Mwakawoko, Kilupula, Mwirang’ombe, Wasambo in Karonga District and Mwamlowe, Mwalweni and Sub T.A. Chapinduka in Rumphi District.

Go out into the world: Bishop Mtumbuka commissions 8 on missionary journeys
Karonga Diocese Commissions Eight on Missionary Journeys

By Moses Raymond Kamanga

In solidarity with the entire Catholic Church in Malawi, in line with the universal theme of going out to the periphery in keeping with the Extraordinary Missionary Month, October 2019, the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese of Karonga has commissioned eight men as missionaries to communities which have not yet been reached with the Gospel.

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka commissioned the eight during the launch of the Diocesan Year of Missio Ad Gentes at St Mathias Mulumba Parish in Misuku on the 9th of February, 2019.

Speaking before the function that took place within the Eucharist Celebration, the Bishop stressed the need to take missionary work very seriously.

“We have no excuse to give for not being missionaries to our brothers and sisters who have not known Jesus Christ because those who came to share this faith with us met more terrible hardships than we can claim to meet,” said Bishop Mtumbuka.

“Yes, the roads are bad but we have vehicles. But the White Fathers who came to us had to actually walk from Lilongwe to this end. We have no excuse what-so-ever for not reaching out to brothers and sister in hard to reach places within our diocese,” the Bishop further said.

Among those who were commissioned as lay missionaries came from St. Steven’s Parish, St. Michael’s, St. Anne’s, St. Mary’s and two from the Diocesan Curia Offices under the Pastoral Department. Also commissioned on the day were the Diocesan Radio – Tuntufye FM Radio and Lusubilo Orphan Care.

Places targeted for missionary work include Diya diya, Mlowo, Ngana, Lutushu just to mention a few, which are “far away from everything and in the middle of nowhere.”

Bishop Mtumbuka declared 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019 are the Diocesan Year of Missio Ad Gentes on 24 November, 2018 at St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral on the occasion of Annual Thanksgiving Mass.

Charles Zimba handover the cheque to GVH Kyeghama and the Head teacher of Katili Primary School
Friend in Need: Katili Primary School Receives a Timely Donation

By Chimwemwe Chisi

Learners and teachers at Katili Primary School under the Diocese of Karonga will have improved facilities following the cash donation of MK 1.5 million from Sempha Construction Company which will go towards the renovation of classroom blocks and building girls’ toilets among others.

Charles Zimba signs a cheque flanked by Dr Matthews Mtumbuka and his wife
Charles Zimba signs a cheque flanked by Dr Matthews Mtumbuka and his wife

Speaking during the donation presentation ceremony at Katili Primary School, the proprietor of Sempha Construction Company, Charles Zimba expressed belief that the donation will go a long way in improving the condition of some buildings at the school as one way of improving the standards of education in Karonga District.

“I and my wife established a charity fund with which we provide financial assistance to institutions and areas which are facing difficulties. We do this every year,” said Zimba.

Speaking on behalf of the Katili Community, Group Village Headman Kyeghama thanked the Zimba Family for considering the school in his area.

“I am very pleased with this particular donation. We never expected it. This is a great lesson to all of us that it is possible to help one another from the limited resources we have,”said Kyeghama.

The Vicar General of the Diocese of Karonga Monsignor Denis Chitete graced the function also because Katili Primary School is under the proprietorship of the Diocese of Karonga.

“We are happy as a diocese for this donation which will really assist the school and the diocese in the education sector. I am so grateful to the Zimba Family for the help.”

Monsignor Chitete further appealed to the government and the corporate world to take part in developing the schools in the rural areas to achieve quality education in the country.

Richard Mwamulima
Dedication to Church Activities Earns Richard a Scholarship

By Philip Chisi

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has lived up to his promise by sending Richard Mwamulima, 27, to Njombe Technical College of the Diocese of Njombe in Tanzania to undergo training in Carpentry and Joinery.

Richard Mwamulima
Richard Mwamulima

During the Diocesan Youth Rally of 2015, Bishop Mtumbuka made an announcement that he would offer Richard Mwamulima a scholarship to learn a trade in Tanzania because of his commitment to the Church.

Owing to his poor background, Richard could not afford tertiary education, as is the case with many Malawian youth, due to high cost of tertiary education. This situation pushes most young people into drugs, crime and promiscuity, but this was not the case for Richard.

Richard Mwamulima, who left for Tanzania on 11 January, 2019 to undergo a yearlong training, did not let his poor background push him away from serving the Lord and the Church with dedication as one of the leaders of the youth group at St Mary’s Parish. He is also one of the Diocesan youth leaders.

In his statement, Richard said he could not believe that the long awaited scholarship could come true;

“I’m not financially well off at home, so I would not be able to get the fees to study at any college in Malawi let alone outside Malawi. This is a lifetime opportunity and it means a lot to me. I will forever be grateful to God and Bishop Mtumbuka for opening doors for me and giving me a new lease of life,” said Richard.

Recently, the Bishop also awarded a scholarship to some young people, of violence prone Chakwera Village, to study at Miracle Technical Institute as one way of curbing violence. In the same line, the Diocese of Karonga is implementing a youth vocational skills development project as one way of responding to violence in the area.