Retired President Mwai Kibaki was on Friday feted with an Honorary degree in Environmental Studies by the Maasai Mara University.
During the University's graduation where 1,346 graduates were conferred with various degrees and diplomas, the former Head of State called for concerted efforts in preserving the Mara ecosystem.
In his acceptance speech, Kibaki who is also a Unesco Special Envoy for Water in Africa urged Kenyans to plant trees to stem the current wave of drought that has left millions of Kenyans facing starvation.
Kibaki observed that Mara environment presented a unique ecology that required keen attention by all Kenyans in order to realize its full potential.
He said Mara ecosystem was a global wonder that had placed Kenya in the world map due to its uniqueness.
“The Maasai Mara ecosystem is, no doubt, one of a kind in the world. It is uniquely endowed with features and attributes that make it a true wonder of global proportions. It is the duty of Kenyans and East Africans to preserve it and the water towers associated with it, as an integral part of this region’s brand identity,” he said.
He, however, regretted that the honor came at a time when 10 million Kenyans are reportedly facing starvation due to prolonged drought and inadequate water.
He said, "matters of environmental conservation especially in water catchment areas must be taken seriously in order to reverse the threatening trend not only in the country but in the whole of the African continent".
“I, therefore, accept this honor on behalf of all those people who believe and seek to advance the course of environmental and water conservation in Africa,” he added.
The former president challenged the Maasai Mara University to take a leading role in ensuring that the Mara ecosystem is properly conserved by generating knowledge that expands the horizons of possibility for humanity.
"With this university taking the lead, we can set a new rhythm for the conservation of the Maasai Mara’s rivers as well as the flora and fauna," he said.
Also read: Kibaki gets honourary Phd
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