To Professor Wangari Maathai’s long time friends and supporters:
It is with great sadness that the family of Professor Wangari Maathai announces her passing away on 25th September, 2011, at the Nairobi Hospital, after a prolonged and bravely borne struggle with cancer. Her loved ones were with her at the time.
We feel so grateful to have had your support for all these years. You have made the work of Professor Maathai and the Green Belt Movement possible. Inspired by her work, you have taken action in your own homes and around the world to make the planet a better place. This is exactly what she would have wanted.

Professor Maathai’s departure is untimely and a very great loss to all who knew her—as a mother, relative, co-worker, colleague, role model, and heroine; or who admired her determination to make the world a more peaceful, healthier, and better place.

Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai started the Green Belt Movement in 1977, working with women to improve their livelihoods by increasing their access to resources like firewood for cooking and clean water. She became a great advocate for better management of natural resources and for sustainability, equity, and justice. A synopsis of her life and work can be read here.

Prof. Maathai leaves her three children—Waweru, Wanjira, and Muta—and a granddaughter, Ruth Wangari. They are truly very grateful for all the prayers and support they have received.

Please join us and plant a tree in celebration and remembrance of Wangari’s life and legacy.

With deep gratitude,

The Family of Professor Wangari Maathai &
The Staff of the Green Belt Movement in Nairobi, London and Washington, DC

View and share condolences here.

The Green Belt Movement has established a memorial fund to help the organization continue the amazing legacy of Wangari Maathai.