Ecological disaster a result of corruption, says Maathai

July 23, 2009

Kenya, a country of vast beauty and natural resources, is plagued by water and power shortages and is headed for ecological disaster as a result of greed and corruption, asserts 1992 Goldman Prize winner and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.

In a speech in late July 2009, Maathai pointed to mismanagement of resources by government and business officials as being hugely detrimental to Kenya’s people.  Voice of America writes:

“The Green Belt Movement is shocked and embarrassed by the continuing reckless and insatiable greed for forests, rivers and wetlands despite the inevitable suffering that is befalling the people of this country,” she [Maathai] says. “The long-term unsustainable management, occupation, exploitation and degradation of these resources have precipitated crop failure, hunger and death. There is no water even for drinking and for essential services. The situation is completely untenable. Our country is facing an ecological disaster of our own making.”

Long considered one of Kenya’s most prominent and outspoken activists, Maathai, who also spent a term in Parliament, has advocated for ordinary citizens to participate in environmental stewardship.  Her organization, the Green Belt Movement, empowers women to plant trees as a means for improving the environment throughout Kenya, where colonial and post-colonial regimes sactioned huge logging projects that all but destroyed the country’s forests.

On August 1, Maathai and the Green Belt Movement will begin a protest in Nairobi where the group will plant trees on wetland areas that they claim belong to the Kenyan people.

Kenya Headed to Ecological Disaster Says Nobel Winner [VOA News]