Women fighting environmental degradation targets of attack

January 8, 1999 is a day etched in the minds of many environmentalists. It is the day staunch environmental activist the late Prof Wangari Maathai was attacked in Karura Forest as she planted trees to save the ecosystem.
Prof Maathai, who won a Nobel Prize in 2004, for her stewardship in environmental conservation, had vehemently objected excision of parts of the forest for private development.
She persistently led supporters of Green Belt Movement, which she founded in 1977, to Karura Forest to plant trees, notwithstanding the dangers she exposed herself to.
Prof Maathai is remembered as a brave woman who went against the grain to challenge the government of the day regime on matters of environment.
Apart from the beatings she got for protecting the environment, Kenya’s second President the late Daniel Arap Moi angered by her protests to protect forests referred to her as a “mad woman” and her activities as “subversive.
She is gone, but left behind a history that continues to be re-written.


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