The role of Digo Muslim of Kwale district in environmental conservation and protection
Nyaga, Stephen Njoka
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Environmental conservation is amongst the crucial global concerns. Frantic efforts are being made to identify the most effective methods of fostering environmental conservation even in the rural communities. In Kenya, not many environmental reports and research findings have assessed the contribution of religious teachings in the said effort. The present study has tried to fill this knowledge gap. Using a conceptual framework reconstructed from the Islamic principles, the study examines the role of Digo Muslims of Kwale district in environmental conservation. This was done with the help of data from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data was received through oral interviews and personal observation. Secondary data was got through library research. Guiding premises were: (i) that Islamic precepts for environmental conservation and protection have guidelines on how humanity can avoid degrading or depleting natural resources; (ii) that natural as well as human induced factors account for environmental problems in Kwale District; (iii) that the Muslim institutions contribute in creating environmental awareness and in it's conservation and protection projects and programmers; (iv) that Digo Muslims apply Islamic environmental principles to combat degradation of water, soil, forest reserves and fish resources. Lastly, that some economic and natural factors hamper efforts of Digo Muslims to combat some prevalent environmental problems. The thesis has five chapter. The first chapter is a general introduction to the problem being investigated. Chapter two discusses Islamic principles for management, conservation and protection of environment. Chapter three traces and analyses the main environmental problems in Kwale district. Further it highlights the main causes of natural resources degradation, e.g., soil water, forest reserves and fish resources. Chapter four examines the role of religious institutions in fostering conservation and protection of environment among the Digo Muslims. Chapter Five focuses on the application of Islamic environmental principles by the Digo Muslims in Kwale district. The last section constitutes a summary of major findings of the study in view of the guiding objectives and premises. It also discusses the contribution of this study to the advancement of knowledge. In addition, specific recommendations and suggestions for further study are made.