Prof. Wangari Maathai – A tribute to an icon

Wangari-Maathai-001

[1/04/1940 – 25/09/2011]

Trees

Who knew trees were this important, well some of us knew but am sure most did not know. If it wasn’t for Wangari Maathai, Kenya would have been a desert before I became a teenager, but thanks to her I get to enjoy the beauty of this magnificent species. Plant a tree today.

Human rights

“Human rights are not things that are put on the table for people to enjoy. These are things you fight for and then you protect.”

She played a part in fighting for our country, in terms of human rights, back when, the then ruling president did not support her with her initiative of protecting the country’s biodiversity. A true environmental crusader.

“It is the people who must save the environment. It is the people who must make there leaders change. And we cannot be intimidated. So we must stand up for what we believe in.” 

“Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking.”

“It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.”

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“When resources are degraded, we start competing for them, whether it is at the local level in Kenya, where we had tribal clashes over land and water, or at the global level, where we are fighting over water, oil, and minerals. So one way to promote peace is to promote sustainable management and equitable distribution of resources.”

Anybody can dig a hole and plant a tree. But make sure it survives. You have to nurture it, you have to water it, you have to keep at it until it becomes rooted so it can take care or itself. There are so many enemies of trees.

We lived in a land abundant with shrubs, creepers, ferns and trees … Because rain fell regularly and reliably, clean drinking water was everywhere. There were large, well-watered fields of maize, beans, wheat and vegetables. Hunger was virtually unknown.

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