In celebration of the late Kenyan social, environmental, and political activist professor Wangari Mathaai, Green Botswana Trust, and the Kenyan High Commission this week planted 50 fruit trees at Nyangagwe Referral Hospital.
The ceremony marked “Wakulima Day” which means Farmers Day in Kiswahili language.
Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights.
The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner was in 1984, awarded the Right Livelihood Award for converting the Kenyan ecological debate into mass action for reforestation.
Speaking at the tree planting ceremony, the Acting Kenyan High Commissioner Jarso Boru said planting trees at the hospital is a million worth idea that will serve the hospital for many generations to come.
Boru said planting of trees as encouraged by the late Mathaai and now being spearheaded by the likes of Green Botswana is vital in keeping the planet clean.
Sharing the same sentiments, Hospital Superintendent Dr. Kobamelo Motshidisi, said trees are vital in people’s lives particularly at a time when the world is dealing with climate change.
“These trees take carbon dioxide from humans and animals and give us the oxygen we so much need,” said Dr. Motshidisi.
Founder of Green Botswana, Sela Motshwane commended the Kenyan High Commission for sponsoring the tree planting day at the iconic hospital.
Motshwane revealed that they proposed this to the Commissioner as part of their mission to reduce the effects of climate change and to help to preserve the natural world in which they live in, and reach the 2030 Climate Adaptation Pledge as set out in the Paris Agreement.
“This was not the first time that the Kenyan High Commission has partnered us in our efforts. In 2020 they donated 301 trees to Mokolodi,” she said.
In his remarks, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist Paul Sidandi said Kenyans living in Francistown were pleased that the High Commission chose the City of Francistown to commemorate “Wakulima”.
He said they were equally please that the Nyangagwe Management hosted the event, as the hospital over the years has employed Kenyans in fields of medicine such as Psychiatry, Paediatrics, Occupational Therapy, Orthopaedics and many others.
“This event will go a long way in cementing the relationship between Kenya and Botswana,” he said.