All posts tagged: Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai’s Legacy: The official Laying of the Foundation Stone Ceremony

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The wPOWER Hub team, led by the Director, Wanjira Mathai today joined H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta in making history by laying the foundation stone at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies ‘Green Campus’, in a colourful ceremony that was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences(CAVS), Upper Kabete Campus, University of Nairobi.

The ‘Green Campus’ will host the wPOWER Hub, and continue to play an important role in championing evidence-based policy-making and forging strong working relationships with knowledge institutions through action learning processes which will help mitigate risk in the energy sector innovation.
The Wangari Maathai Institute has been instrumental in supporting the wPOWER Hub to continue its focus on making the case for the role of women in clean energy entrepreneurship.
In his Speech, Hon. Kenyatta paid a glowing tribute to the late Prof. Wangari Maathai for her relentless work and passion to care for the environment. “I am encouraged to learn that this Institute is already playing a critical role in reducing conflicts in communities by involving women in green energy technology, and in environmental conservation,” said the President.

The Institute, that is set to be completed mid next year is designed to give an expression of the vision of Wangari Maathai for democratic space, sustainable and accountable management and cultures of peace. The Institute aims to create a culture of peace through transformational leadership in environmental governance.
The cost of construction of phase I of the WMI is at KES 600m and is supported by the government of Kenya, the African Union through African Development Bank and the UoN. The President reaffirmed the government’s commitment to support the project up to its completion.

Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies will train students from the whole African continent on environmental issues. The campus will as well play a key role in shaping democracy and peace building initiatives.

The ceremony was well represented in attendance by representatives from the Government of Kenya, University of Nairobi, Green Belt Movement and well wishers.

Wangari Maathai was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize “for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”.

DorothyWangari Maathai’s Legacy: The official Laying of the Foundation Stone Ceremony
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The US Ambassador, H.E. Robert Godec visits the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute

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By Tindi Sitati / wPOWER Hub News

U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Robert F. Godec, today visited the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute, University of Nairobi and was received by hosts, the Vice Chancellor UoN, Prof Peter Mbithi, the Principal, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS), Prof Kiama Gitahi and the wPOWER Hub Director Wanjira Mathai.

The visit started with an interactive presentation, by Wanjira Mathai, the wPOWER Hub Director, who described the global energy scenario and emphasised the role of the wPOWER Hub in promoting the critical role of women in clean energy solutions to climate change. ‘ Only 30% of Kenyans have access to electricity and 70 % of the population uses kerosene and candles to light their nights’ said Wanjira Mathai .

Ambassador Godec praised the efforts of the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute in addressing environmental, health and economic challenges facing grassroots women in rural Kenya. “ It is great that the wPOWER initiative is bringing clean energy technologies to the communities” said the Ambassador.

Following a wide-ranging discussion on partnership working and innovation, Ambassador Godec visited the clean energy exhibition at the Hub, which provides information on the costs associated with various clean energy technologies, their availability, the fuels they use, and the distributors who supply them. The exhibit has been displayed at trade fairs, exhibitions, and public meetings to raise awareness and create public visibility of clean energy alternatives.

Ambassador Godec visited the green campus site, that will soon be home for the Wangari Maathai Institute. He planted a tree at the Green Belt Movement (GBM) initiated peace park,situated  at the green campus site, to honor victims and survivors of the Garrisa University terrorist attack in Kenya.


     From left ( Director wPOWER Hub, Wanjira Mathai, Principal CAVS, Prof Kiama Gitahi, US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, Vice Chancellor UoN, Prof Peter Mbithi


From Right ( Vice Chancellor UoN, Prof Peter Mbithi, US Ambassador Robert Godec, wPOWER Hub Director Wanjira Mathai, wPOWER Hub Partnerships Director, Linda Davis, Green Belt Movement Executive Director, Aisha Karanja, Wangari Maathai Institute Director, Prof Henry Mutembei, Green Belt Movement Programs Manager, Charles Mwangi


DorothyThe US Ambassador, H.E. Robert Godec visits the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute
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4th Wangari Maathai Memorial

wPOWER Hub partners, Green Belt Movement led approximately 500 community members,partners,family and friends of Professor Wangari Muta Maathai,to a people’s march from Jeevanjee Gardens to Uhuru Park,on 25th September 2015,to encourage communities to raise their voices on climate change and the natural environment. The walk was to mark the fourth memorial anniversary of Professor Wangari Maathai.

The memorial brought together a diverse group of Kenyans and international friends to celebrate Prof. Maathai’s life and her outstanding achievements in environmental conservation, sustainable development, democracy and peace.

IMG_4239Professor Vertistine B.Mbaya, GBM Board member

In reminiscing her experiences with Prof Maathai,Professor Vertistine B.Mbaya, GBM Board member,recalled a time when they were being chased by police,to a cathedral,during their protests,when she asked Prof.Maathai,’Who do you think they are after?’ Prof.Maathai answered,’Us’.

Speaking during the celebrations,Wanjira Mathai,wPOWER Hub Director and Chair of the Green Belt Movement said that Prof Maathai was persistent,patient and humble in her fight for environmental justice.She mentioned the three legacies of Wangari Maathai as being,the foundation of the Green Belt Movement,the Wangari Maathai Institute at the University of Nairobi and finally the soon to be launched Wangari Muta Maathai Foundation.

‘Wherever you go after this,remember to plant a tree,if not,plant something as your commitment to climate change’.said Wanjira Mathai.

Prof.Wangari Maathai is remembered for her unwavering commitment to environmental protection, conservation and community development.

Click here to view gallery

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Dorothy4th Wangari Maathai Memorial
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wPOWER Hub Director,Wanjira Mathai meets with President Barack Obama

wPOWER Hub director Wanjira Mathai met with U.S. President Barack Obama during a State Banquet held at State House Nairobi on 25th July 2015.

Obama was in Kenya to attend the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and to meet with leaders from government, business, and civil societies.

Speaking during the opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES),a US sponsored business summit in Kenya,President Obama spoke at length of the need for women to be more involved with entrepreneurship.”Treating women as a second-class citizen is a bad tradition. It’s holding you back,” he added.

”African countries have the opportunity to go green by leveraging on clean energy as opposed to traditional sources of energy” the US President said.

The US State Department created the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute, founded by the late Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. The wPOWER Hub is building evidence base on women, energy access and climate solutions.

DorothywPOWER Hub Director,Wanjira Mathai meets with President Barack Obama
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