Wangari Maathai

Saving the forests of Kenya one step at a time

By Layla Monet-Viera

Environmental Problems in Kenya

Wangari Maathai was a woman environmentalist fighting to save the land from deforestation in her native country of Kenya. Plantation owners began to burn and cut down the forests in Kenya to put in non-native plants. The plants were sucking up water from the soil, causing streams to dry up. Wangari Maathai decided to take action and fight against this by starting the Green Belt movement. She brought people together to help her stop the deforestation and burning of the forests. Wangari Maathai organized protests and other movements, such as strikes, to prevent this. When the government was giving away public land from parts of the forest, she decided to protest through planting trees. In conclusion, when plantation owners cut and burn down the forests in Kenya, Wangari Maathai started the Green Belt movement to stop it from happening.

Consequences of Environmental Problems

Non-native plants to Kenya were sucking up water from the soil, resulting in people in Kenya not getting enough water. Wangari Maathai tried to stop this, among other issues. When plantation owners were planting non-native plants in place of the trees that were already in the forest, it was taking a toll on the environment. Wangari Maathai tried to stop it by starting the Green Belt movement. She too, faced many problems. When Wangari Maathai heard about the government giving away public land from the forest, she decided to protest by planting trees. When she went to the workers to protest, they did not take it well. According to the video, the men were throwing rocks, beating up cars, and yelling. Another problem Wangari faced was when she went on a hunger strike to release political prisoners. Her and the other women in the Green Belt movement were attacked by the police. According to the video, some women were so hurt that the couldn't walk, and they had to be carried out. Overall, there were many consequences of the growing of non-native plants, as well as many consequences of standing up and protesting against these things.

Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement

Wangari Maathai was a role model for many people. Because of her many inspirational and brave actions, Wangari Maathai was considered an inspiriation for many people. For example, former president Bill Clinton declared Wangari Maathai to be “a tireless advocate for social justice and human rights”, and “an exceptional leader.” Al Gore said, “Her indomitable spirit enabled her to transcend barriers of every kind and description.” In addition, one supporter of Maathai said, “Wangari has given me the strength to know that, if I fight for something, I can make it happen.” Wangari Maathai inspired many people and was an amazing role model across the world.

Recent Events- the future of the Green Belt movement

Wangari Maathai has impacted how the Green Belt movement functions today. Many events have occurred in the Green Belt Movement since Wangari Maathai’s death, such as exhibitions, workshops, scholarship programs, and lectures. There have also been conferences, and many other events to honor Wangari Maathai for everything she did for the environment, the economy, and the Green Belt movement. The Green Belt movement is continuing to honor Wangari Maathai and try to do what she did for the environment.
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Map of Kenya in Africa

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Dry Stream in Kenya

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Wangari Maathai and Barack Obama

Video of Wangari Maathai