Reputed wife of dead dredge owner testifies

first_imgAn emotional Onica Butts took to the stand on Friday at the Lindo Creek Commission of Inquiry (CoI), where she recounted the trauma she and her children felt following the death of her reputed husband, Dax Arokium.Former Attorney General, Anil NandallArokium was a third-year student at the University of Guyana (UG) pursuing engineering and the owner of the mining dredge at Lindo Creek, where eight miners were killed on June 21, 2008.Butts recollected seeing Arokium on June 6, 2008, at her parent’s home, when he was preparing to travel to Lindo Creek. At that time, she was four months pregnant with their son. The couple had a three-year-old daughter at the time.Butts said she last communicated with Arokium on the day he arrived at Kwakwani, as he awaited transportation into Lindo Creek and received the news on June 21, 2018, of his and his co-workers’ deaths. She said she did not believe the reports and further explained that due to the state of her pregnancy, Arokium’s family decided to withhold the details of his death and what transpired at the mining camp, from her.She said that no one from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) contacted her and following months of receiving very little information regarding her reputed husband’s death, she made the decision to visit the then Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee to seek answers.Freddie KissoonThe family held a memorial service on June 28, 2008.It was years later that the Lyken Funeral Parlour provided the family with information as to where Arokium was buried, after which they visited the location, she said.After the birth of her son, Butts said the family was exposed to counselling. However, she pointed out the fact that the re-opening of the case has negatively impacted her son’s studies.Meanwhile, Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, in an invited comment, told this newspaper that on Phagwah day, as he was powdering Justice Donald Trotman and exchanging Holi pleasantries, he used the occasion to respectfully caution him not to allow his Inquiry into the Lindo Creek Massacre to become a pantomime.“My attention was to a news report which suggests that Freddie Kissoon appeared before the Commission. Every intelligent Guyanese is aware of Kissoon’s morbid obsession with the PPP and more particularly, Bharrat Jagdeo. But someone needs to tell Freddie Kissoon that for his own credibility, his rantings on the PPP and Jagdeo, must suffer reasonable restraint. Unfortunately, on this occasion the burden is mine to bell the cat.”Kissoon in his testimony on Friday, told the Commission that in “his journalistic investigations revealed that it was geographically impossible for the notorious Fine Man gang to murder the eight miners at Lindo Creek, in June 2008.”Nandlall said that this testimony raised a few questions for him.“1) Why Freddie Kissoon never disclosed this to the police when the incident occurred? 2) Why Freddie Kissoon refuses to disclose the details of this “journalistic investigation”? 3)Why does Freddie Kissoon not explain what information he received from this “journalistic investigation” and from what source, that made it “geographically impossible for the notorious Fine Man gang to murder the eight miners at Lindo Creek in June 2008”? 4)Why does Freddie Kissoon not explain who his sources are who supplied him information that “the security forces and the then PPP government had great involvement in what transpired at Lindo Creek 10 years ago”? 5)Why does Freddie Kissoon not reveal the identity of the alleged person whom he claims informed President Bharrat Jagdeo of the whereabouts of the gunmen?He added that unless these questions are answered, this remains another quest by Kissoon in his perennial search for relevance and importance in our society.“I can appear before that Commission tomorrow with a story that is 10 times more convincing than Freddie Kissoon, replete with a pretension of knowledge of what transpired and prevent any testing of my fabrication by the utilization of concepts such as “lawyer-client” privilege etc. Would the Commission accept my testimony as credible? Freddie must think that he lives in an extraordinarily stupid society, to believe that he can pull off such asinine stunt,” Nandlall declared.last_img read more

Municipal Government Day set for Wed.

first_imgBy Jon Zacks Bring a lawn-chair – Wednesday is Municipal Government Day in Fort St. John.City Hall is spearheading the event, to give residents the chance to learn more about how the City functions on a day-to-day basis.- Advertisement -From 3-8 p.m., each city department will have representatives manning a booth at Centennial Park, showcasing how that departments works, and some new initiatives underway. There will be food vendors on hand, and free hot-dogs and burgers from the City. As well, there will be live bands performing from 4-8 p.m.For those looking to meet (or embarrass) their favourite councilor, there will also be a dunk tank, with Councilors Trevor Bolin and Dan Davies, and Mayor Bruce Lantz each to take a turn on the hot seat. Advertisement There will also be activities for kids from 3-7 p.m., including picnic games (such as three-legged races and a tug-o-war), flower pot painting, and a free fish pond. Kids will also be able to get their photos taken with civic employees, including police and firefighters. center_img The event coincides with Arbour Day, which is an initiative of Communities in Bloom. Organizers will be distributing 200 apple trees, for a fee of $25, with proof of address. For more information on Municipal Government Day or Arbour Day, visit fortstjohn.ca or call 3-1-1.last_img read more

Expert view: Manchester United eye Chelsea goalkeeper to replace outgoing star

first_imgManchester United are reportedly monitoring Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, with the departure of David De Gea to Real Madrid appearing increasingly like a case of when rather than if.The Spanish giants have identified De Gea as their number one target to replace the ageing Iker Casillas, and a summer bid is expectedly imminently for the 24-year-old.Cech has had to play second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois this season at Stamford Bridge and has been told he can find a new club, and the Daily Mail’s north west reporter Mike Keegan believes there is some interest from United.“It certainly seems De Gea is on his way. Petr Cech is on their radar, but then you have a case where you have two very experienced goalkeepers [at United],” said Keegan.“[Victor] Valdes is there and has experience, but he looked a bit shaky when he came in. I think we might see a surprise, we might see someone we might not expect.”Keegan also revealed that Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has been told next season will be his last in charge at the Etihad, regardless of how successful the coming campaign is.The Chilean guided City to the Premier League title in 2013/2014 but disappointingly failed to muster a challenge to runaway champions Chelsea this term, with the Citizens hierarchy reportedly lining up Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola as their ideal replacement.“There’s an agreement that this is his [Pellegrini’s] final year. I think when Pellegrini came in for three years, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Guardiola’s deal expires at the same time,” Keegan added.“He [Guardiola] is seen as the ideal fit for City, because of the way City want to do things. They have a certain style of football and want to replicate Barcelona.”last_img read more

DDTV: WATCH VIDEO OF ARDARA AS VILLAGE AWAITS ‘BEST PLACE TO LIVE’ RESULTS

first_imgDDTV: WATCH a video compiled by the Irish Times marking Ardara’s victory as the Best Village to Live in Ireland.The village has already won that accolade.Now it’s on a shortlist to win the overall Best Place To Live In Ireland award, run by the Irish Times newspaper.The winner will be announced tomorrow, Monday. Click to play the video DDTV: WATCH VIDEO OF ARDARA AS VILLAGE AWAITS ‘BEST PLACE TO LIVE’ RESULTS was last modified: June 24th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DDTV: WATCH VIDEO OF ARDARA AS TOWN AWAITS ‘BEST PLACE TO LIVE’ RESULTSlast_img read more

GAA NOTES: KILLYBEGS

first_imgThe Killotto had no winner this week. The numbers were 4, 12, 25 and 29 129. There was one winner of Match 3 Numbers. Willie Tully, Killybegs. Next week’s Killotto jackpot is €3,200 and Match 3 is €60.There was no winner of Bingo Jackpot. Consolation prizes went to Pauline Mohan, Tullintane. Next week’s Jackpot will be €2,100 on 50 calls.The A.G.M. was on last Friday in the Tara Hotel. CLG Na Cealla Beaga AGM 13-01-2012 Vice Chairman – John O’SullivanAssistant Secretary – Andrew MullenPRO – Charles TullyOifig Na Gaelige – Shane Murrin Registrar – Rita Nolan & Kathleen McCabeInsurance Officer – Ed ByrneCoaching Officer – Joe McBreartyCounty Board Delegate – Bernard ConaghanPresident – Patsy McGowan Vice President – Eddie McGuinnessSenior Team Manager – Joe McBreartyU-21 Manager – Andrew MullinLadies Manager – Margaret McHugh, Mairead Gallagher, Betsy McGuinness Some more positions to be filled…”Club Membership is now due. You can pay Rita Nolan or Kathleen McCabe.Family – €50Single – €30Student – €15Minor – €10Ladies start back training on Wednesday 25th of January in St Catherine’s Vocational school gym at eight o clock. New players are welcome.The Club will be having a Scrap Metal Collection in Eamon Byrne Memorial Park on Saturday the 28th of January. All types of scrap metal will be accepted and any enquiries please contact Bernard 0861755621 or Macdara 0879119505GAA NOTES: KILLYBEGS was last modified: January 17th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:killybegs gaa noteslast_img read more

Blues earn victory on late goal

first_img What happened was that Brewer’s wrist shot made it through a crowd and past Anaheim’s Ilya Bryzgalov with 56 seconds remaining to give the Blues a 3-2 victory over the Mighty Ducks. Brewer’s goal gave the Blues a much-needed reprieve. St. Louis had taken three penalties late in the game, and the Mighty Ducks finally cashed in when Teemu Selanne scored with 1:16 left to tie it 2-2. But less than 20 seconds later, the Blues had the lead again. ST. LOUIS — Eric Brewer wasn’t trying to do anything special when he got the puck just inside Anaheim’s blue line with less than a minute left in regulation. “I was just trying to get it on net and see what happened,” the St. Louis defenseman said. “He was pushed back in the crease four or five times,” Carlyle said. Carlyle wasn’t happy with the finish. “We’re finding ways to lose instead of finding ways to win,” he said. Dean McAmmond and Christian Backman also scored for St. Louis, and Patrick Lalime made 28 saves. The goal was the third for McAmmond, who is one of the players the Blues are looking to for offensive production this season. “I said before that I felt I could score 15 to 20 goals,” McAmmond said. “But with scoring up the way it is, that might not be enough. I probably need to score 20, 25 to really help.” McAmmond, like everyone else, is still trying to get used to the new rules. “I’m not used to having this kind of freedom,” he said. “It used to be you always had a stick on you or someone grabbing you.” Sandis Ozolinsh had the other goal for Anaheim. Anaheim’s Andy McDonald was called for hooking at the two-minute mark of the third period, and the Blues took advantage when McAmmond deflected Eric Weinrich’s shot from the point by Bryzgalov at 3:44 to give the Blues their first lead. Ozolinsh, who had missed the previous two games with the flu, scored 7:56 into the game. With the teams playing 4-on-4, Rob Niedermayer got the puck in the left circle and dropped it to Ozolinsh who beat Lalime with a one-timer from the top of the right circle. Backman got the equalizer with a power-play goal at 7:05 of the second period when his slap shot from just inside the blue line made it through a crowd and past Giguere. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “It’s about time we got a break,” Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. “The team needed it; the dressing room needed it.” The Mighty Ducks felt they could have used it as well. “That’s really disappointing,” Bryzgalov said. “It was a really lucky goal.” Bryzgalov was playing because starting goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere had to leave the game with a groin strain at 16:55 of the second period. Bryzgalov allowed two goals on 14 shots. Giguere was 2-2-1 with a 3.13 goals against average and had played all but 15 minutes of Anaheim’s first five games. Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle felt Giguere’s injury was a result of being hit in the crease several times. last_img read more

DONEGAL INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

first_imgMidfield powerhouse Michael Sweeney will be a pivotal player for Fanad Gaels this weekend even though he wears pink boots!!Gaeil Fhánada V Naomh Bríd Gaeil Fhánada host Naomh Bríd this weekend in the All Sports Intermediate Championship. Gaeil Fhánada are one of the favourites to win this year’s championship and have enjoyed a solid league campaign so far this season.They’ll look to Michael Sweeney, Seami Friel and Paddy McConigley for inspiration and with home advantage should have enough quality to overcome Naomh Bríd.Naomh Bríd will have county star David Walsh back in their line-up and he will be a key component for them as they seek to secure a crucial away victory.VERDICT – GAEIL FHÁNADA St Naul’s v Naomh Colmcille Last year’s beaten finalists St Naul’s will be hoping they can go one better this year after their heart-breaking defeat to Naomh Muire in last year’s decider.Sharpshooter Stephen Griffin is a lethal forward for St Naul’s and Naomh Colmcille will have to formulate a plan to stop him if they’re to have any chance of winning.Matthew Crossan has enjoyed a good season for Naomh Colmcille and is an expert from dead balls.However, with more experience and more strength and depth in their squad, plus home advantage it’s hard to see past St Naul’s.VERDICT – ST NAUL’S Carndonagh v Naomh Columba Naomh Columba hit the headlines earlier in the year for famously helping a Galway man turn turf while they were returning from a match at the All-Ireland Gaeltacht championships earlier this season.Their wonderful gesture received national coverage and attention from all over the country.However, on Sunday they’ll be hoping to make the headlines for footballing reasons. Carndonagh have home advantage and are a tough, well-organised outfit, but Naomh Columba have enjoyed a good league season so far this year, and have great pedigree when it comes to club championship football.Naomh Columba won a number of Donegal SFC titles in the late 80’s and 90’s, and they should have enough to get over the line.VERDICT – NAOMH COLUMBAMilford V Buncrana Junior Champions Milford make the step up to the Intermediate bracket following their stunning season last year, but face a tough test in the form of Buncrana.Buncrana competed in the Donegal SFC up until a few seasons back and have aspirations to return to top level football.County star Darrach ‘Jigger’ O’Connor will be a key man for Buncrana and Milford will need to devise a plan to cut out the supply to the tricky and skilful corner forward.Milford will be keen to make an impression and with home advantage will be a tricky proposition for Buncrana.However, Buncrana are an experienced side and should have enough quality to see them defeat the Milford men.VERDICT – BUNCRANAAodh Ruadh V Downings Aodh Ruadh host Downings at Father Tierney Park in the Intermediate championship on Saturday evening.Downings have struggled badly since making the step-up to Division Two and are low on confidence having suffered some heavy defeats.Aodh Ruadh on the other hand have enjoyed a good league campaign and are in contention for promotion.They were defeated at the semi-final stage last year and have aspirations of going all the way this year.With home advantage it’s hard to see past anything other than an Aodh Ruadh victory.VERDICT – AODH RUADHDONEGAL INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW was last modified: September 26th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal Intermediate championshipGAANews Sportpreviewlast_img read more

Donegal gets its own Toy Show – and they’re looking for participants!

first_imgNevermind the Late Late – Donegal is soon to have its very own version of the Toy Show next week. Donegal’s Toy Show takes place on Sunday 10th December at 3pm in the Central Hotel Donegal Town. They are seeking enthusiastic and talented kids to demonstrate toys and perform on stage. Do you know a young star who would love to be on stage?It’s set to be great family event with lots of fun and goodwill. Admission is free and all donations will be raised in aid of Solace Donegal Cancer Support. The Toy Show will be hosted by Highland Radio’s Marty Friel. Entertainment will be provided by Beats of Broadway along with a mini children’s fashion show.Kids will have the opportunity to get a photo taken with Santa Claus and receive a gift. (Cost €10)The search is on now for performers who want to demonstrate toys, review books, sing or dance. If your child is interested please text/call 085-7032764/ email elaine@centralhoteldonegal.com for more information.  Donegal gets its own Toy Show – and they’re looking for participants! was last modified: December 1st, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:central hotel donegal towntoy showlast_img read more

On the trail of polio viruses

first_imgA child is given an oral polio vaccine during a vaccination drive in Niger, West Africa. Shelina Moonsamy isolates a wild polio virus for genetic sequencing at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases. (Images: Irin News)Like a forensic detective, Nicksy Gumede-Moeletsi, a virologist who heads the sequencing section at the Polio Molecular Unit of South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), tracks her “criminal”, in this case a virus, by studying variations in genotypes instead of fingerprints.The sequencing unit in South Africa is one of seven centres in the world tracing the origin of polio outbreaks. Gumede-Moeletsi traced a 2005 outbreak in Angola – which had remained polio-free since 2001 – to a polio strain prevalent in India by determining the genetic constitution of the polio virus.From Angola, the Indian virus strain travelled south to neighbouring Namibia, north to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and from there reached the Central African Republic in 2008.Polio, a highly infectious non-curable disease that can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours, is easily spread by contact from person to person. Flies can also passively transfer the polio virus from faeces to food.According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, spearheaded by the World Health Organisation, Rotary International, the US-based Centres for Disease Control and Unicef, most people infected with polio virus have no signs of illness, and are unaware that they are infected.The disease can be prevented by orally giving children aged under five a live weakened Sabin polio vaccine, named after its developer Albert Sabin, or by a trained health worker injecting the inactivated Salk polio vaccine.Uncovering the route along which a virus spreads is critical. Polio outbreaks can be caused either by a wild polio virus type, or a vaccine-derived polio virus (VDPV).On rare occasions, strains of the live virus contained in the oral polio vaccine given to children are known to have changed, reverting to a form with the capacity to circulate, and which can cause paralysis in humans.Gumede-Moeletsi said it was essential for a country experiencing an outbreak to know what it was up against, and sequencing helped detect the possibility of a new strain, as well as determining whether it was a wild polio virus or a VDPV.Sequencing also helped to find gaps in the affected country’s immunisation coverage. For example, if sequencing picked up a mutated form of the virus that seemed newer than a strain prevalent before the country’s last vaccination drive, it might indicate that the coverage of the immunisation programme had not been that effective, said Dr Adrian Puren, deputy director of NICD.Finish the jobThe polio detective work has also been used to actively encourage Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nigeria – the only four countries in which polio is still endemic – “to finish the job of complete eradication”, said Mark Pallansch, who heads the polio laboratory at the Centres for Disease Control. He has worked on the polio eradication programme since 1985 and has traced frequent outbreaks to a virus originating in the four countries.In August 2003, radical Muslim leaders in three northern states of Nigeria suspended polio immunisation campaigns after rumours that the vaccine was laced with agents causing Aids and sterility.A new outbreak, originating in the state of Kano, subsequently occurred and infected previously polio-free areas of Nigeria as well as eight formerly polio-free countries in West and Central Africa.The strain then travelled from Sudan to Saudi Arabia, “probably during Haj”, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Pallansch said. In 2005 it spread to Yemen as well as Indonesia – a country that had been polio-free for 10 years.These outbreaks underline the importance of being vigilant. “You need a good surveillance system and a regular immunisation programme,” said Pallansch. “As long as polio is endemic, even in one country, everyone has to keep up with their immunisation programme.”He pointed out that Nigeria’s neighbour, Cameroon, had managed to keep the disease from developing into an outbreak with an effective immunisation campaign. This was in contrast to its other neighbours, such as conflict-ridden Sudan.Polio can be eradicated, “if you have the will,” said Pallansch. “If a developing country like Bangladesh, with a huge population and challenges, can do it, anyone can do it.”The threat posed by VDPV is mounting: in 2008 Gumede-Moeletsi picked up 18 cases in DRC and four in Ethiopia. She is concerned about the threat posed by VDPV, which is mounting. In 2008 Gumede-Moeletsi picked up 18 cases in DRC and four in Ethiopia.Her concern supports calls for wider use of the inactivated polio vaccine, which eliminates the risk of VDPV as it does not contain live virus, once wild polio has been eradicated. But according to Sona Bari of WHO, “Only the oral polio vaccine has been proven to stop polio circulating within a community.” So the debate on which vaccine to use continues.Polio factsAs long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio.Between 2003 and 2005, 25 previously polio-free countries were reinfected by new imports of the virus.One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis, usually in the legs.Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilised.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.comSource: Irin NewsRelated articlesVaccines for a healthier Africa ‘The end of meningitis in Africa’ High-price vaccine for all SA kids TB vaccine in SA clinical trial Booster for child health in SA Useful linksNational Institute for Communicable DiseasesGlobal Polio Eradication InitiativeWorld Health OrganisationRotary InternationalCentres for Disease Control and PreventionUniceflast_img read more

Environmental activist laid to rest

first_imgArguably one of Kenya’s most well-knownwomen, Wangari Maathai was a fearlesscampaigner for women’s rights andenvironmental protection. She is seenhere with former president NelsonMandela.(Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation) Kenyan children plant a tree.(Image: UNEP) Maathai photographed in her homelandof Kenya.(Image: The Green Belt Movement) MEDIA CONTACTS • The Green Belt Movement  Nairobi, Kenya   +254 20 3873057 RELATED ARTICLES • Swazi attorney wins Green Nobel prize • Cheetah guru wins Tyler prize • African projects to save the earth • ‘The Infinite Gardens of Mandela’ • Green Scorpions in sting operationEmily van RijswijckShe was the inspiration behind, and patron of the Billion Tree Campaign, which falls under the UN Environmental Programme and aims to halt global deforestation.In her own country she created the Green Belt Movement (GBM), an environmental NGO with a strong social focus, especially on the empowerment of women.Professor Wangari Muta Maathai, who died at age 71 on 25 September in Nairobi after a long battle with cancer, was a woman of firsts: in 1971 she became the first East African woman to earn a doctorate in anatomy and in 2004 was the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her tireless work to promote sustainability, democracy and peace.Maathai’s maxim was that when you plant trees, you also plant the seeds of peace and hope. After seeing the environmental devastation and economic ruin caused by mass deforestation in her home country of Kenya, Maathai started the Green Belt Movement in 1977, with the aim of promoting better management of natural resources.In so doing she hoped to bring about greater sustainability, equity and justice, particularly for her countrywomen, with whom she worked closely.The GBM has since planted more than 47-million trees across Africa, restoring degraded environments and improving the quality of life for people in poverty, especially the 900 000 women who have established tree nurseries and improved their own quality of life.The Billion Tree Campaign reached its target in less than a year and is now aiming for the 14-billion mark. The campaign has planted almost 12-billion trees across the world and celebrates the International Year of Forests in 2011.In a tribute to Maathai on the Green Belt Movement website, she is quoted as saying: “You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.”Jeunesse Park, CEO of the South African NGO Food and Trees For Africa, described her as an inspiration to all,“The Tree Woman of Africa who bravely confronted governments in her efforts to save the forests – her messages were so simple, yet so meaningful. She showed how every one of us can change the world,” said Park.“We were privileged to be acknowledged by her, to know her, share with her and plant a tree with her – she will be greatly missed.”In a statement the Nelson Mandela Foundation announced its shock at her passing and gave praise to a woman who had achieved so much in her lifetime.“Prof Maathai has left a lasting legacy in greater awareness and work in protecting our environment and the world,” said Achmat Dangor, the foundation’s CEO.On African leadership As the work of the GBM expanded, Maathai soon came to realise that deeper social issues underpinned poverty and environmental destruction.Bad governance lay at the heart of Africa’s many challenges, she felt, contributing to disempowerment of the masses and the loss of vital social values which over centuries had sustained communities.Maathai used tree-planting to drive a larger environmental, economic and social agenda. She became especially vocal about leadership, or the lack thereof, in Africa at large. In her own country during the 1980s and 90s, she spoke out strongly against the unbridled human rights abuses of then-Kenyan president, Daniel arap Moi.As a consequence of her ongoing crusades against environmental destruction, and her outspoken stance against the government, Maathai and her staff were sometimes physically harassed, assaulted and even jailed.During one of her many interviews she had this to say about Africa’s leadership: “Our leadership in Africa is characterised by corruption, selfishness and greed which has literally torn our continent apart.” This, she said, was because “our leaders are not willing to serve”.  In 2005, Maathai delivered the third Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in her capacity as Kenyan deputy minister of environment.“We need people who love Africa so much that they want to protect her from destructive processes,” she said in her address. “There are simple actions we can take. Start by planting ten trees each of us needs to absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale.”In the same speech Maathai also asked people to practice the 3R campaign – reduce, re-use, recycle – and to get involved in local initiatives and when possible, volunteer to serve the community as best they can.As an MP during the early 2000s, she advocated for reforestation and the protection of forests. She was a tireless campaigner for education and empowerment and the role of the government in bringing about change.In 2006 she co-founded the Nobel Women’s Initiative with fellow women peace laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, and Mairead Maguire, Aung San Suu Kyi to advocate for justice, equality, and peace worldwide.On the website the remaining members express their deep sadness at her passing, but remember Maathai for her “fearless strength in adversity, her creative approach to building a peaceful, healthy planet and her hard work to inspire and empower women”.Global warming activistAs concern over global warming became more pronounced, Maathai added her voice and efforts to the worldwide campaign to fight climate change.The last years of her life saw her increasingly involved in global issues, specifically advocating for the protection of indigenous forests and the inclusion of civil society in policy decisions.  As a result of her efforts she became goodwill ambassador for the Congo Basin rainforest in 2005 and in 2009 she was designated a UN messenger of peace by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.One of her final contributions was to establish the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies in 2010, bringing together academics to share experiences and research.The Green Belt Movement has announced the establishment of a memorial fund to continue Maathai’s legacy.last_img read more