WANGARI MAATHAI’S LIGHT IS NOT GOING OUT ANYTIME SOON
The late Prof. Wangari Maathai is considered a legend among the young and old. Her work on environmental conservation is known far and wide. And it was not easy creating a legacy that still thrives even after her death. Her love and passion for the environment and using that passion to help vulnerable women and fight for democracy is something to be envied.
On Saturday 25th September, Athi Primary School, Ruai was honoured to host an event to mark the 10th anniversary since the passing of the Prof. Maathai. The Green Belt Movement also launched a project called Urban Greening in Schools that will see Athi Primary, Manyatta Primary and St George Earth Secondary schools plant 6500 trees to begin. The project targets young people in schools and the surrounding communities to embrace environmental conservation.
The trees which will consist of high-value fruit trees and indigenous trees will convert the seemingly dry area into a more improved ecosystem and discouraging land encroachment. The project also aims to generate income for the schools by selling surplus food for income.
Ms Jane Gitau, who led the event was impressed by the lands the three schools possessed and the potential it has to make the Urban Greening in Schools project a success. Speaking to the three Principals and a representative from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), she called on the Commission to encourage teachers to embrace environmental conservation.
“I see that we have a representative of the TSC,they can also encourage the teachers to plant trees," said Ms Gitau.
Mr Godfrey Gachoya from the TSC said that environmental conservation is crucial, especially now that the Competency-Based Curriculum has taken full effect. The topic of environmental conservation, he said was offered on subjects like Social Studies and Agriculture as part of developing the talents of the students.
Speaking to the students, Ms Gitau encouraged the students not to overlook the little contributions they make because they are students.
“If you put a little effort you will get big rewards. Do not overlook your efforts because you are students. The late Professor Maathai taught us to love and care for the environment and this project aims to ensure that you have a green school," she said.
The Principal of Athi Primary School, Ms Lucy Mugwe thanked the Green Belt Movement for their support in ensuring that the project takes off as scheduled. She said that the project has reignited their love for the environment which they have passed down to the students.
"We have learned quite a lot from the Green Belt Movement and we have taught our children to be responsible. This project has enhanced collaboration between the school and the community. We can know which tree is good for which terrain in our community," said the Principal.
She also appealed for help in creating a tree nursery that will be used to grow more tree seedlings that will be used in the larger part of the Ruai community as well as maize seedlings to promote intercropping.
The event was culminated by planting 81 trees in honour of the late Prof. Maathai.