A petition to rename Karura forest has gained momentum after the Ministry of Environment and Forestry endorsed the plans.
While appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Environment on October 5, 2021, government officials led by Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, endorsed a petition that seeks to have the forest renamed after the late Prof. Wangari Maathai.
Kamunkuji Member of Parliament, Yusuf Hassan, tabled the petitioned before the legislative committee.A nature trail at Karura forest in Nairobi.
The MP stated the move would honour the efforts of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner for her efforts in conserving the forest.
In his response, Tobiko concurred that the petition was timely, noting that it was a great initiative in recognizing the late Maathai.
“The Ministry agrees with the petition prayer to have Karura Forest renamed in honour of Hon. Prof. Wangari Maathai," the CS stated.
However, Tobiko reiterated that the proposal needed further consultations before the process is complete.
"To this end, in recognition of constitutional and legal requirements for due process and public participation, there is need for the Ministry to consult further with cabinet and engage Kenyans in public participation before this can be done," Tobiko stated.
In 1998, the late Maathai opposed the then government's plans to carry out property development in the forest by staging a demonstration.
Through the Green Belt Movement (GBM), the environmentalist managed to halt the development and engage in a tree planting exercise in the forest. Her efforts, saw her win the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize 6 years later.
On March 3, 2021, a section of Kenyans celebrated the fallen environmentalist by cleaning the Nairobi River. The exercise was led by the Environment CS.
"To celebrate Wangari Maathai day and the Africa Environment Day we have planted indigenous trees to celebrate our environmental heroine,” the ministry stated.Wangari Mathai speaking at the UN, New York. September 26, 2011.File
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