Stories of Change

Father Nangwele's Environmental Conflict and Resolution

Father Linus D. Nangwele was "born and baptized" in Ghana, Africa. He's in the U.S. for higher education. He never expected to be an environmental crusader. The Conflict Analysis Resolution program at the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences [GHSS] changed his world view.

Father Nangwele developed a case study titled " Developing an Environmental Ethic in Ghana, Africa." The Tamale Ecclesiastical Provincial Pastoral Conference (TEPPCOM) granted $5,000 to support his crusade against environmental degradation in Ghana. He says, "Prevention is better than cure. Prevent degradation, prevent violence."

In 2006, his diocese gave Father Nangwele 4 years to study. He earned his masters in theology in less than 2 years. He needed to begin a doctoral program immediately. The NSU promise of "Your Future. Your Terms." filled the need. In January 2007, Father Nangwele started earning his Ph.D in Conflict Analysis Resolution.

Father Nangwele found faculty experienced in the conflict/peace challenges of the modern African state. NSU professor Dr. Essoh J.M.C. Essis, is a national of Cote d'Ivoire. Dr. Essis has served as a representative for Cote d'Ivore in international negotiations. Dr. Essis sets examples of what is possible.

Professor Father Nangwele's environmental mission began with "academic curiosity." He learned destruction of the environment will lead to violence. He says, "That curiosity has revealed a lot of horrifying evidence of the state of Ghana. The next violent conflict will be for resources. The hungry man is an angry man."

In Ghana, forests are cut down for firewood, but not replanted. From December to February, "The sky is lit up not by stars, moon or electricity but by wildfires." No forest means no windbreaker. Homes are not safe. He says, "When the last tree dies, the last man will die too."

With the funding from TEPPCOM, Father Nangwle's creating workshops from his study. He'll give evidence to organizations in Ghana. They must insist on sustainable environmental projects from the government. "Rivers are drying up. Water is being contaminated by industrial waste and pesticides. I must be a whistle blower."

Father Nangwele believes Ghana, his homeland, is blessed. It's the most peaceful country in Africa, a continent known for political violence. His study of Conflict Resolution and Analysis means much more than a degree. He says, "We have a duty to keep safe what ever God has given to us.

Father Nangwele is turning knowledge into power. This NSU doctoral candidate is changing the world.