“But when you have bad governance, of course, these resources are destroyed: The forests are deforested, there is illegal logging, and there is soil erosion. I got pulled deeper and deeper and saw how these issues become linked to governance, to corruption, to dictatorship. “Said Wangari Maathai who five years after passing on, little has been done to push forward her agenda, which focused on poverty reduction and environmental conservation.
Instead the degradation of the environment has been on the rise. Most of our urban centers today are filled with flimsy plastic bags that have continue to pollute the environment with no action from the relevant authorities to curb this situation being taken .Take for example my city, Kisumu,where little effort has been put in to prevent the gradual increase of minor dumpsites in the slums and estates. The Kachok dumpsite has continued to be a menace.
One of Wangari Maathai’s initiatives, was the green belt movement which was aimed at reducing the effect of deforestation and provided forums for women to be creative and become leaders. This is another key area where the government and its stake holders have failed to champion. There needs to be an intervention by the government to carry out reforestation and conservation of forests by evicting those communities which have no rights of living in such areas.
The Nobel Prize winner also engineered the championing of women to rise into leadership heights by providing for them various forums to express themselves . Up to date the old boys club has continued to shape up the political landscape of this country negatively and our Kenyan woman has failed to rise up and adapt to global trend of women rising into power.
The government, scientists, extension workers, policy makers, academicians and civil society should ensure that Wangari Maathai’s legacy lives on and champion her course. Foundations should be set up to promote the management of the ecosystem.