Little Known Kenyan Activist Steals the Show at Global Event

  • Activist Elizabeth Wathuti presenting at the Climate summit on November 1
    Activist Elizabeth Wathuti presenting at the Climate Summit on November 1
    The Standard
  • Kenyan youth climate activist,¬†Elizabeth Wathuti, took the stage to deliver a poignant, personal and humble speech that moved masses on November 1.

    The 26-year-old is the founder of the Green Generation Initiative. Her project has planted over 30,000 tree seedlings and trained 20,000 students in Kenya. In 2016, She was awarded the Wangari Maathai scholarship award. Ms. Wathuti is also the head of campaigns at the Wangari Maathai Foundation.

    Speaking at the United Nations Climate Change Conference event held in Glasgow, Scotland, Ms. Wathuti becomes one of the first Kenyan youth to speak at a global summit.

    Image of Elizabeth Wathuti dated May 3
    Image of Elizabeth Wathuti dated May 3
    Elizabeth Wathuti Ke

    ''I have done a lot of soul searching about what to say here today, I have asked myself over and over what words might move you, but then I realized making my four minutes count does not rest solely on me, my truth will only land if you have the grace to fully listen. My story will only move you if you can open up your heart," Ms Wathuti stated.

    She further added that, however much she urges her congregation to act at the pace and skill necessary, their will to act must come from deep within, further narrating about the occurrence of events happening in Kenya.

    ''I need to tell you what is happening in my country, right now as we sit comfortably here in this conference center in Glasgow, over two million of my fellow Kenyans are facing climate-related starvation. In this past year, both of our rainy seasons have failed, and scientists have said that it might be another 12 months before the waters return again, meanwhile, our rivers are running dry, our harvest is failing, our storehouses stand empty and our animals and people are dying. 

    ''The children cannot live on words and empty promises. Let us feel it in our hearts and then act,'' she further remarked.

    Her words earned her global attention, with netizens and leaders congratulating her for her moving speech, some stating that she is a worthy inheritor of the Late Prof.Wangari Maathai.

    ''Procedures for implementing the Paris Agreement will be finalized, and a clear way forward for a climate-resilient pathway set. We also expect that the agreement will be sufficiently inclusive to accommodate the needs and priorities of developing countries and in particular, the special circumstances of Africa, which have been very ably put forward earlier and very well articulated by Elizabeth Wathuti," President Uhuru Kenyatta stated as he recognized her.

    Over 100 world leaders attended the cop26 climate summit, among those were US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and champion marathoner, Eliud Kipchoge.

    Image of leaders at the climate summit on November 1
    Image of some of the leaders present at the climate summit on November 1
    The Standard