Forests: WANGARI MAATHAI: Her Women's Army Defies An Iron Regime

WANGARI MAATHAI

One morning two months ago, 30 helmet-clad riot police wielding automatic rifles were arrayed in front of a hastily erected steel gate that barred the way into Karura Forest, on the outskirts of Nairobi. They stood guarding the site of what many Kenyans were calling an environmental outrage. More than a third of the 2,500-acre forest had been sold to land developers for a luxury housing project backed by President Daniel arap Moi, and 50 acres had already been cleared--less than half a mile away from Nairobi's world headquarters of the United Nations Environment Program. A week earlier, protesters had invaded...

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