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Wangari Maathai’s legacy

Prof Wangari Maathai did not wish to be buried in a wooden coffin. She openly declared her wish not to be buried in a wooden coffin soon after she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Wangari though an alternative to the traditional coffin was needed in order to protect forests. She is likely to be granted her wish to remain green to the grave.


Wangari Maathai
Wangari Maathai
Prof Maathai, a courageous environmentalist to the point of getting on the nerves of former President Moi, had proposed a ban on wooden coffins arguing that their continued use was a danger to the already endangered forests. The family and members of the Green Belt Movement said they were looking for an alternative to a wooden casket.

Prof Maathai openly declared “she was one of those who did say that we better think of something else besides cutting down trees for caskets,” said Prof Mbaya. “I am not aware (of a will on how she wanted to be interred) right now. But, we are thinking about that. We will try to circumvent using a wooden coffin. That is one of the reasons that we are not ready yet to inform you how she will actually be interred.” Prof Mbaya added.

Wangari Maathai paid a heavy price for her courage that comprised of repeated beatings, incarceration, harassment, and public vilification by the Moi regime. She is survived by her three children—Waweru, Wanjira, and Muta, and her granddaughter, Ruth Wangari. Moreover, Wangari made a tremendous impact on humanity and left a legacy to pursue the dream of environment protection.

Selay M.K.
Abidjan Live News

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