Kenyan scientist and Nobel Laureate, Prof Richard Samson Odingo, has passed away.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga on Monday led the country in mourning Prof Odingo who died on Saturday at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi.
Terming the death as unfortunate, President Kenyatta said his demise has robbed the country and the world of a great climate scientist whose contribution to the global struggle against climate change will be dearly missed.
Prof Odingo was the vice chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, jointly with former US Vice President Al Gore. He held the position for 11 years.
Mr Kenyatta mourned the deceased as a Kenyan scientist who helped raise the country's profile internationally through his contributions to the global action against climate change.
"Many people across the world know Prof Odingo as a highly accomplished climate change scientist and scholar who helped steer United Nations efforts to tackle climate change for over a decade," he said in a statement.
He pointed out that Prof Odingo's great work at the IPCC helped the UN agency earn a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, making him Kenya's second Nobel Laureate after Prof Wangari Maathai.
The President said Prof Odingo’s rich research work will continue to be a reference point for future generations as the world steps up the battle against climate change.
“As a country, we appreciate that the international community recognised the work of the great Kenyan scholar and gave him the platform to share his research work and experience, in the process raising Kenya's profile globally."
Besides his long career in university teaching, research and international service, Prof Odingo, who earned his PhD in Geography from the University of Liverpool in 1963, becoming one of the first Kenyans to get a PhD. He also served the country in several roles including at the National Climate Change Activities Coordination Committee (NCCACC).
Mr Odinga described Prof Odingo as a brilliant scholar and great teacher who gifted a long line of students with knowledge.
"We lost him just when our country and humanity needed his knowledge the most. We are however grateful for the contribution he made to our shared planet," said Mr Odinga.