On Sunday 3rd November, individuals and organizations congregated at Uhuru Park to celebrate the life and work of Kenya’s most iconic environmentalist and the 2004 Nobel Laureate the late Prof. Wangari Maathai.
This celebration was also a way of reminding the public and the present government the efforts Prof. Wangari Maathai and the Greenbelt movement put to protect Uhuru park – especially now that there are plans to construct an expressway from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Westlands that would hive off part of Uhuru Park.
As the Standard Newspaper reported, “By the time China Roads and Bridge Company (CRBC) finally hands over this expressway to Kenya in 2049, it will have minted a total of Sh102 billion in a deal where they are insulated from competition, taxes and losses.”
The Green Belt Movement has also expressed concerns that the proposed expressway is not in tandem with best practice in urban mobility and the ongoing efforts to combat air pollution as it will require the use of private cars to generate toll revenue.
As deCOALonize campaign, we really believe that protecting the environment is protecting future generations. And as Prof. Wangari Maathai once articulated, it’s the future generations that pay for the mistakes and destruction caused by the present generation. We, therefore, stand with the Green Belt Movement on this as it is a message that we believe in. Together, we stand up for the future!
CEO WildlifeDirect, Paula Kahumbu and Director Friends of Lake Turkana, Ikal Angelei also joined the celebrations of the life and work of the late Prof. Wangari Maathai. Each one of them reminding us what Professor stood for and why as Kenyans we must stop spectating while increasingly, environmental laws and regulations are violated in the name of development.
Concerned members of the public continue holding vigil meetings at Uhuru Park every Thursday and have asked anyone interested to join them. They vow that not even a centimeter of Uhuru Park will be hived off for the much-touted expressway.