Quote of the week

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by Cynthia Vukets on September 2, 2009

“I can do a lot of things, but I cannot hold a tree up as it is being felled. I’ll be crushed!”

- Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. The professor and environmental activist was speaking July 22 about a new campaign she has devised to start “reclaiming” urban wetlands. Basically, she plans to march onto properties that she says are public spaces (but who really knows?) and begin planting trees. She also claims she and her band of enviro-volunteers will take down walls and buildings in the way of reforestation efforts. Eco-terrorism Kenyan style! The first day of the campaign, her movement ended up getting busted by the cops and a small riot ensued.  May I mention Maathai is in her late 60s? She is beautiful – perfect skin – and impeccably dressed. Photos on the walls of her office show her with Oprah, Barack and Michelle Obama and other luminaries.

Maathai’s campaign “Enough is Enough” is just part of a country-wide effort to replant forests that have been degraded by drought, farming and illegal squatting in Kenya’s largest water catchment area, the Mau Forest. Soil degradation and water runoff from areas that used to be forested is contributing to a food shortage. Ten million Kenyans are currently dependent on food aid in a country of just over 30 million.