“Until you dig a hole, plant a tree, water it and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing, you are just talking” Wangari Maathai. What better way to celebrate this great woman, African daughter, and Nobel Laurette on this great day than to plant trees.
One of the greatest remarks by Nobel Laureate winner and environmentalist Prof. Wangari Maathai that she will be remembered for is her assertion that “Nature is self-healing”. For years, wounds have been afflicted on Mother Nature. The song that we need to protect our environment has been sung for far so long, and today, signs are all over that nature is hitting back at us. “Nature is so unforgiving” (Wangari Maathai). She asserted that “the physical destruction of the earth extends to us; if we live in an environment that is wounded-where water is polluted, the air is filled with soot and fumes, the food is contaminated with heavy metals and plastic residue or the soil is practically dust – it hurts us, chipping away at our health and creating injuries at a physical, psychological and spiritual level.”
Years ago, Wangari Maathai launched a movement to restore the environment, the Green belt movement, and empower women in her native country Kenya, she left a legacy that years after her demise lives on.
Her simple story and call for action on the environment were based on “WeDontHaveTime”. Years ago even before the question of sustainable development became a global topic, she warned us of the dangers that the world was trending in and the difficulty we were placing future generations on as nations, communities, and industries went on exploiting natural resources with little regard for the environment.
Today, the world is bleeding, calling for a united front to heal the world and take measures to restore the earth to a time when it could breathe easy without the wounds that our greed has inflicted on it.
Today, as we celebrate the environmental hero Wangari Maathai, we need to look back to where we have come from.
For years, wanton destruction of our environment despite the warnings from environmentalists, scientists, and civil society have gone unnoticed. Our political leaders for long have played mere lip service on calls for sustainable economic practices for fear of economic repercussions, especially for developed economies. The remarks by President George H.W Bush in 1992 prior to the Rio Summit that “The American way of life is not negotiable” is a feeling that 20 years down the line has not changed; it is a mindset that has not changed on the part of developed economies, and this seems to be the paradigm that is being adopted by developing economies in their drive to amass wealth.
Global leaders still put their country’s economic position ahead of the all-important need for a greener, safer environment. And as long as their country’s economic performance remains strong, the question of the environment and what safer ways companies within their economies have put in place to guarantee the safe utilization of natural resources has been swept under the carpet.
Our environment is bleeding, the wrath of mother nature is already being felt across the forgotten villages in Africa and the world at large. It’s time to move beyond mere lip service and join our hands in protecting the universe for our children. Today, environmental disasters have become a common phenomenon in almost every community; and as we speak, scientists and environmentalists are raising alarms about the inherent dangers that surround us if at all we don’t do what is right for mother earth. “As we celebrate Wangari Maathai day and the African day of the environment, we need to look back at the far we have come and evaluate whether our words have been followed by action on the environment. We don’t have time for more talk, it’s time for action.” Patrick Kiarie says.
You can join the global action on the environment #Wedonthavetime on social media and be a part of the solution. Click on the link https://www.wedonthavetime.org/ and download their app.