The spouse of the Deputy President, Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, remembered Prof. Wangari Maathai posthumously during the Africa Climate Summit, reminding thousands of people of her passion for tree planting and spirited fight for a greener environment.
She also pointed out the significance of Africa hosting the event and making decisions against the existential threat of climate change, with Kenya at the forefront of the global discourse on climate change.
“This summit presents a remarkable opportunity for Africa to actively engage in this critical conversation. Let us become action-oriented about climate change and not just have a talk shop. It is time to go out and plant trees. If each of us can plant three trees, we can say there is action towards climate change,” said Pastor Dorcas.
Speaking during the session for ‘Championing Women’s Leadership and Accelerating Finance for Women-Led Land Restoration across Africa’, Pastor Dorcas acknowledged the presence of Prof. Wangari’s daughter, Wanjira Maathai, and reminded the global audience of her mother, who stood against many odds to fight for a better environment.
“Our daughter Wanjira, it is always a pleasure to see you, for you always remind us of one of the greatest women that ever lived and took care of mother earth,” said Pastor Dorcas.
In her speech, she elaborated on the strides and impact the late professor made in Kenya and across borders, including the establishment of the Greenbelt Movement.
“Within the borders of Kenya, we are reminded of an extraordinary individual whose influence transcends national boundaries: Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai.”
“She imparted in us the wisdom that says, ‘Until you dig a hole, plant a tree, water it, and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking’,” said Pastor Dorcas.
Pastor Dorcas also celebrated First Lady Rachel Ruto for her continued efforts in championing the nation towards embracing tree-growing and greening the environment.
She referred to the First Lady as ‘the Mother of our Nation and a steadfast advocate for climate change, the environment, and conservation’.
“Led by our First Lady, I am confident we will make significant investments in the green economy. This will not only address the levels of unemployment but also alleviate poverty in all its manifestations in alignment with sustainable development goal number one,” she said.
At the same venue, Wanjira hosted a panel that included President and CEO of Bezos Earth Fund Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change Finland Kerstin Standahi, and Special Envoy Climate and Environment Norway Hans Brattskar.