NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 26 – The board of the Green Belt Movement has vowed that the organisation will continue with its work even after the demise of its founder Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai.
Board Member Dr Njeri Gakonyo said Professor Maathai had set stable structures that would see the continuity of the organisation that was founded in 1977.
The Green Belt Movement provides income and sustenance to communities through planting of trees and also conducts educational campaigns to raise awareness on women’s rights, civic empowerment and the environment.
“This organisation is fully functional and able to continue with this important work and the mission of making sure that we as human beings look after the environment so (Wangari Maathai’s) work will continue,” Dr Gakonyo assured.
Dr Catherine Lalobo, a friend to the Late Laureate eulogised Professor Maathai as one who had contributed immensely to elevate the status of African women.
“I am shedding tears of joy because today we are celebrating the life of a true African woman. She is the African girl child that each one of us would like to emulate. I have derived a lot of inspiration since I came to Kenya 40 years ago from activities of women like Wangari Maathai and if I have reason for living in Kenya, it’s because of Wangari Maathai,” she said.
Professor Maathai died on Sunday night at the age of 71 following a prolonged battle with ovarian cancer, a type of cancer that arises from the ovary. It normally occurs in women over the age of 50.
She leaves behind three adult children and a granddaughter.