GBM Blog

In the Footsteps of Wangari Maathai

August 28, 2013 - 09:55AM
Published by David Kamau

This article was written by Rhoda Mutono Nyamai, a prospective Masters Degree student at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (WMI)
WMI is part of the college of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS) at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. It was established to honour, recognize, celebrate, advance, and immortalize the ideals and works of one of its alumni, the 2004 Peace Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai. The overall aim of the institute is to cultivate better environmental stewardship and management of resources and ultimately a reduction in related conflicts.
Rhoda will be joining WMI on September 10th 2013.


Rhoda Mutono NyamaiI believe everyone has a purpose in life, our decisions and trust in God lead us either closer or further away from our destiny.

My story began when I graduated with a Degree in Business Information Technology from Strathmore University in June 2013; I was happy and ready to face the world.

I joined a company that provides catering and camp services in Turkana County in the former Rift Valley Province of Kenya.

I realized that I had an interest in the environment when I joined the Health Safety and Environment department in that company. I felt more alive making sure people use environmental friendly products, from the detergents used to clean laundry, to the materials used in civil work.

I later decided to do a Masters Degree in environment. During my search for a good institution, I came across the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (WMI), offering a Masters of Science Degree in Environmental Governance. I quickly enrolled and later learned that I would be in the pioneer class, something that really excited me.

I was amazed when I realized a colleague of mine had planted over 500 trees in Turkana, a semi-arid region with rainfall measurements recorded at less than ten inches per annum. The project is doing great and it brings joy to my heart seeing a green canopy in such an arid place. I will constantly take photographs of the project and share them with you.

In conclusion, I have read Professor Wangari Maathai’s memoir and it has really inspired me to see how she stood for what she believed in, for a better tomorrow.

This is why I want to follow in the footsteps of Wangari Maathai. I want to start an environmental NGO where I will conserve the environment by educating people on the importance of the environment, conserving and improving it. I will be grateful if you would train me on ways of conserving the environment.

I will be a great driver of change in this country. You will see my works. I aim on ensuring that 10,000 trees grow in Turkana, and I bring back the green canopy of Kenya. I am ready to get dirty, to be ridiculed and to stand for what I believe in, because I will finish what Wangari Maathai started.

This is my story and it has just begun.