Kenyan Muslims pray for rains in drought-hit Kwale County
Muslim faithful in Kwale converged in different parts of the county’s four sub counties on Thursday to pray for rain following a prolonged drought.
It is estimated that at least 200,000 people in the county are staring at starvation in most of the affected areas of Kinango and Lunga Lunga sub-counties.
Addressing journalists after the prayer known as Istisqaa, Sheikh Hamisi Banda said: “We have not only prayed for Kwale County but the whole country. We have prayed to God to bless us with good rains which will enable our farmers to get better yields.”
Sheikh Banda said the main reason for the prayers was reports of desperation of parents especially in hard-hit Kinango.
He added that with the Islamic religion having issued guidelines on what to do in such situations, they decided to organize the prayers and ask for forgiveness from God.
“We have not only prayed for rain but also for our country by asking God to enable us get good leaders who can love their people and prevent as from religious animosity,” he said.
Sheikh Banda asked government to set up legal measures to ban charcoal business which has led to deforestation hence desertification.
He added that the government should make it mandatory for people to plant trees as he said that most, when they cut tree, never replace them.
Sheikh Hassan Mwakidudu supported him on the need to do more to deal with cutting down of trees and also the booming charcoal business especially in the two Sub-counties.
Sheikh Mwakidudu said serious legal implications have to be taken against all those who cut down trees and engage in the charcoal business which has negative effects.
“Trees are a contributing factor for us to have rain therefore cutting down of trees can also lead to lack of rain. As Muslims we support the ban on cutting down of trees,” he said.
The prayer is among the practices of Prophet Mohammad who used to lead Muslims in prayers to ask for forgiveness from God and cleanse themselves from evil deeds.