Malindi Catholic Bishop Willybard Lagho has pledged to forge an inter-faith front against social ills bedeviling the residents of the North Coast region.
Bishop Lagho said community problems such as crime, drug abuse and the killing of elderly persons on witchcraft claims requires concerted efforts to eradicate.
Speaking at his official residence in Malindi town where he hosted a section of Mulsim clerics in Islamic fast-breaking dinner (iftar), the bishop said unity along religious organisations would also help solve the vice of corruption and child neglect.
Bishop Lagho, who was installed early this year as the bishop of the Malindi Catholic See, said that his tenure as bishop would be characterised by inter-religious engagements with the aim of addressing societal challenges. “In my 34 years of service as a padre, I have been engaging different religious leaders and putting them together,” he said.
Bishop Lagho at the same time urged Kenyans to adhere to all Covid-19 protocols with a view to bringing down infections that have been on the rise in recent times, in order to avoid a health catastrophe like the one India is currently grappling with.
“The rate of Covid-19 infections in this county is now worrying. Our hospitals are grappling with scarcity of oxygen and I call upon all Kenyans not to drop their guard against this global pandemic,” he said.
The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), Malindi Branch Chairman, Sheikh Abud Salim Basmale, who led the Muslim delegation to the Iftar dinner, underscored the importance of cooperation among religious organisation in tackling common problems.
He said cooperation has been in existence in the area through the Interfaith committee and assured Bishop Lagho of cooperation in his quest to unite the various faiths for the sake if peaceful coexistence.
Covid-19 infections in Kilifi County has been on a steady rise, with Malindi Parliamentary hopeful Philip Charo urging the County Government of Kilifi to revamp and equip all Covid-19 isolation centres to accommodate patients.
Charo, who was speaking to journalists in Malindi town, said many residents had been forced to take their Covid-19 patients to private hospitals where they were paying heavily due to lack of proper government facilities to handle the patients.
By Emmanuel Masha