“We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.” Wangari Maathai
Milka of Kayole Soweto demonstrating to the TOT participants the briquette making process outside her house where she makes the briquettes .
When Prof. Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977 she sought to respond to the needs of rural Kenyan women who reported that their streams were drying up, their food supply was less secure, and they had to walk further and further to get firewood for fuel, building and fencing. The everyday hardships that communities faced: poverty, unemployment, environmental degradation, water scarcity, deforestation, and food insecurity, were, Wangari Maathai recognized, symptoms of deeper issues of disempowerment, disenfranchisement, poor governance, inequities and loss of values. She believed that if those working closely with the grassroots were better equipped with the skills, tools and values to influence and change attitudes and practices they would bring about transformation in their communities.
In sub Saharan Africa over 72% of urban and 98% of rural households use wood-fuel for energy and kerosene for lighting. Inefficient lighting and cooking technologies contribute to climate change and degradation of natural resources. This is because trees are cut to provide fuel for cooking and kerosene is used to provide light. They harm human health when indoor air pollutants increase respiratory problems and exacerbate poverty, mostly affecting women and children. The inefficient production and use of biomass for household fuel contributes to deforestation and natural resource degradation, which further exacerbates climate change. Ultimately the livelihoods of millions of families who live near forests and who rely on them for subsistence and incomes is affected.
Prof. S.G. Kiama giving opening remarks during the wPOWER hub curriculum review and harmonization workshop.
The wPOWER Hub has been developing a trainer's course on sustainable clean energy entrepreneurship thorough a consultative process with partners and stakeholders. The first meeting was a stakeholder consultative forum followed by a meeting with partners to develop the details of the various modules, which would form part of the curriculum. To bring this process to completion, anchors were identified and tasked with the role of developing content for each the modules and with them having finalized on this, this workshop was held on 4th July, 2014 to review and harmonize the modules and content developed.
MS Sylvia Jemutai Rotich, a 3rd year student at University of Nairobi has won this year’s Wangari Maathai Scholarship Award. Sylvia accompanied by her father received the award in a colorful event hosted by the Green Belt Movement at Kilimani.
The Wangari Maathai Scholarship Fund is an environmental innovations fund set up in memory of Prof. Wangari Maathai that is aimed at developing action-oriented young people with strong values and commitment to the conservation of the physical and social environment in Kenya.
The event was presided over by the Director General of National Environmental and Management Authority (NEMA), Prof Geoffrey Wahungu who highlighted on the work and legacy of the late Prof. Wangari Maathai. Others who spoke during the event included, Ms Janet Mawiyoo the CEO of Kenya Development Foundation, Ms Mwihaki Muraguri the Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation, Prof. Gideon Nyamasyo of University of Nairobi, Ms Wanjira Maathai the Chair of the Green Belt Movement and Prof. Kiama Gitahi, Acting Director, Wangari Maathai Institute.
The funding for the scholarship fund has been provided by The Rockefeller Foundation. The scholarship fund is awarded annually, with the first award being granted in the 2013 academic year. Abigael Ndinda emerged the winner in 2013.
Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace & Environmental Studies (WMI),
College of Agriculture & Veterinary Sciences,
University of Nairobi,
P. O. Box 29053-00625
Tele. No. : +254 20 2506448/0788526473
Physical Location: College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences,
Upper Kabete, off Kapenguria road. View map.
Contact Person: The Director