Asuncion (Agenzia Fides) - "We ask our Christian brothers to be custodians of the environment, we ask for solidarity and empathy with the authorities and volunteers who fight against the voracity of fire and drought, above all, we ask them for responsibility so that this evil does not continue to damage our health and our environment". This is the appeal launched by the Paraguayan Episcopal Conference in the face of the daily increase in outbreaks of forest fires, which are still out of control. "This situation worries and alarms us, because the environment is a collective good and its protection is everyone's responsibility", explain the Bishops in the statement sent to Fides.
In order to mitigate this problem, the bishops ask the general public to avoid burning garbage and causing forest fires. "It is our responsibility - they continue - to promote care for the environment, good practices in favor of our 'common home', the rational use of land and water resources". In addition, the bishops mention the pain caused by the drought caused in the countryside by the lack of rain and which harms humble peasant families, and by the loss of large agricultural plantations. For all these reasons, they urge the national authorities to promote a law that protects those most affected by the lack of rain and drought in the country. According to the Civil Protection of Paraguay, on January 24, 409 fires were still active throughout the country, and 3,559 in the previous 24 hours. The volunteer fire department estimates that there have been some 16,000 fires since the beginning of the year. President Benítez announced a series of measures to support the most affected sectors. Paraguay (surface 406,752 km²; population of 7,353,000) has no access to the sea and is essentially flat. Agriculture and hydroelectric resources form the basis of the economy. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 26/1/2022)