22-12-2021 di redazione
One of the most heartfelt, passionate, yet forceful and direct speeches at the Glasgow COP26 global environment conference came from a young Kenyan environmental lawyer and activist, Elizabeth Wathuti.
The 26-year-old, in an elegant blue suit with a maasai tiara encircling her forehead, spoke before the UN representatives, making herself the voice of millions of young people around the world.
"Every day in our country we learn that if we take care of the trees, they take care of us. Young people are waiting for you to act. Please open your hearts.
Afterwards Elizabeth called for a minute's silence for all those who have lost their lives due to the climate crisis, addressing world leaders.
Millions of Kenyans are facing severe climate-related hunger problems due to the inaction of governments around the world," she continued. "This past year, both our rainy seasons have been a disaster. Experts say it could be another twelve months before the water returns. Meanwhile, our rivers dry up, our crops fail, our animals and people die.
With a voice broken by emotion, Wathuti then cited a personal episode.
"One day I saw with my own eyes three small children crying by the side of a dried-up river, after walking 12 miles with their mother in search of water. If you open your heart, you will understand that this heartbreak and pain is hard to bear."
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is one of Africa's spokesmen in the fight against climate change and who also recently in New York warned Western countries of being 90 per cent responsible for the problems that are afflicting Africa as well as the rest of the world, also applauded the speech.
Kenya was the first African country to pass a climate change law in 2016 and runs on 90 per cent renewable energy, with a target of 100 per cent by 2030.
Uhuru is firmly on Boris Johnson's side and after Glasgow and London, he will attend other climate and environmental meetings in Scandinavia.
With him is also an excellent spokesperson, world champion marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge.
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