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African Environmentalism

Africa, Namibia, Landscape, Dry, Heiss

The environment is seen as having a spiritual dimension that extends beyond its physical prognosis in Africa. This may issue from their profound sense of appreciation for the several services made by the environment and its resources in their daily life tasks. To the African, a greater soul is always responsible for any great deed that’s extended to him/her. Thus, when s/he openly gets help to cater to his/her greatest needs of life like food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and recreation amongst others, s/he attaches spiritual value to its providers that are the environment and its resources.

The Africans don’t worship the surroundings as they would worship the maximum spirit who’s in the apex of the belief systems, the Supreme Deity. But they treat the environment and its resources with profound awe and respect. They believe it is the Supreme Deity which has given these natural things from the environment as habitats for some soul beings sent as messengers to aid the human family in their dire conditions. This belief is often known as Animism. Concerning great storms, the woods function as wind holders to protect them from the anger of the storms. The leaves, stem, barks, and roots give them medicine to heal their ailments while the fruits provide them food. To the native African, the goods and services provided him/her by the plants, rivers and other items from the environment are the handiworks of the soul residing in them. Thus, it would be improper, or an act of disrespect and lack of appreciation to wantonly destroy these terrific resources which have served them and pivoted their lifetime presence.

Out of terrific appreciation, they treat the earth and its natural resources with the best care and gentility. The rivers and water bodies aren’t defiled whatsoever whether by bathing in them, tainting its purity with menstruation blood, drowning somebody dead inside, urinating or defecating in them or even using poisonous substances to fish in them. The water bodies have been seen as having souls residing in them and these spirits will be incensed and vouch their anger about offenders of those environmental malfeasances. This maintains the purity of the river bodies and the sustainable source of its anthropogenic and environmental services. The rich abundance of biodiversity and their conservation in many areas in Africa is as a consequence of the religiosity perspective of the surroundings by the native African.

Because of the influx of Western religion and schooling in addition to globalization, many Africans that are affected by these external factors, especially the youth, have dulled the elevated sense of spiritual values for the environment. This is adversely affecting the conservation and sustainability of their natural resources in the environment. However, in local communities in which this religiosity view of this surroundings remains high, the biodiversity resources are still intact and in their pristine state. Hence, the environmental agencies and ministries in Africa must permit the standard councils to function in full abilities to apply these cultural beliefs which protect the environment. They can achieve so by setting a legislation to beef up their powers to sanction offenders who participate in environmentally friendly activities which are seen as defying the sanctity and purity of their environment. Also, assistance concerning logistics to maintain and propagate this belief in animism has to be provided to help in the upkeep of the buoyancy of their environment and its essential resources.

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