Little hummingbirds doing the best they can
From farmers to schoolchildren, tens of thousands of people around the world marked this year’s World Environment Day (WED) with events from Britain to India, to take action against the environmental challenges facing the world today.
The Green Belt Movement (GBM) marked the day by leading a tree planting event with the community, local administration and pupils of Mukarara Primary School in Dagoretti South Constituency, Nairobi County
Tranquility in the school compound was broken by jovial cheers from the students as they could not hide the joy of freely interacting with the GBM team, inquisitively seeking information about what the Organization does. The event, presided over by the School Principal, was graced by the area Chief and Member of the County Assembly, the District Officer, parents and the school community.
In her remarks, GBM’s Executive Director, Aisha Karanja, encouraged the students to be hummingbirds in their localities, urging them to "go wild and get green" in line with this year's WED theme, “Go Wild for Life". Sure enough, the students set out on what would be a successful and interesting tree planting event.
Eugene and his friends, all class seven students, arrayed their passion by doing more than just planting their trees. The three boys placed a ‘warning sign’ around their newly-planted trees in a bid to deter their fellow pupils from destroying them. The “warning sign” stated that any offender would face "gaga bute" - they meant "Nganga Mbute", a phrase in Kikuyu language meaning a featherless guinea fowl, connoting the harsh consequences that would befall anyone who messed with the trees.
Some of the pupils erected little twig fences around individual seedlings while others sunk water bottles near their seedlings to water them. After the tree planting, the pupils were interested in learning the name of each tree they had planted. It was a delight for them trying to pronounce the botanical/scientific names of the trees.
For the Green Belt Movement, this is where the journey of nurturing young environmental ambassadors begins, the next Wangari Maathai and humming birds spread across. We couldn’t be more proud of the passion, interest ,self-responsibility and environmental awareness portrayed by these young minds. Indeed, the future of these self-proclaimed hummingbirds cannot be anything other than bright.
The Legacy of Prof. Maathai is truly here to stay!