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Nairobians petition to have Limuru road renamed Wangari Maathai

Nairobians have launched an online petition to have one of the roads within the county renamed to honor renowned environmentalist and Nobel Peace laureate the late Professor Wangari Maathai.

The online petition that was launched by a Nairobi based literature organization Story Moja has so far been backed up by 265 petitioners.

The petition has been hosted by a community petition site, avaaz.org and is intended to be presented to the Nairobi County Government.

Professor Maathai died on 25 September 2011 at the age of 71 after succumbing to ovarian cancer.

The African Union this year honoured her by posthumously naming the gardens in front of its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after her – Wangari Maathai Gardens.

Professor Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977 to help in the campaign against deforestation.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

She is remembered for matching to Karura Forest on January 8, 1999 with a group of about 20 friends to plant trees at the forest. They were attacked and Prof Maathai was knocked down unconscious leading to her being hospitalized.

The forest was however rescued from being privatized and since it is located along Limuru road, the online petitioners want the road renamed to honour her efforts.

Professor Maathai was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 becoming the first African woman to be awarded the prestigious award.

She took up a political position to advance her fight for sustainable development and conservation works and was elected as the Member of Parliament for Tetu Constituency in 2002.

Professor Maathai consequently served as assistant minister for Environment and Natural Resources in the government of President Mwai Kibaki between January 2003 and November 2005.