The purpose of my email interview was to find out the experiences and opinions from someone who lived in the area that the Greenbelt Movement was most powerful. The questions that were asked were find out more on my search to learn about global peace movements such as the Greenbelt Movement. The people that I interviewed are a Kenyan teacher named Peris and a student of hers named Nailaen. The questions and answers that I received from the two are below.
1. What is the relationship between the environment and the economy in Kenya?
They affect each other a lot. for example if it does not rain for a long time the farmers do not harvest any food so people start dying of hunger. The people cut trees to make charcoal and to build houses. The poor people are more in Kenya so they have to rely on trees fro most of the things including firewood to cook with. this also makes the country dry for lack of rainfall.
2. In your community what is the local economy based on?
I live near mount Kilimanjaro. this is Maasai land. The people here have a long history. They never went to school so they cannot be employed anywhere. They depend on their animals for food and shelter. I mean they eat only meat and milk. These days they have started to sell their meat and milk to the market so they get some income to live on and buy other foods.
3. Have you heard of greenbelt, if so do you think they have had an impact in your community?
I must say Wangari Maathai did a good job. May God rest her soul in peace. She paid for this job with her blood and her life. The greenbelt has an impact in the whole country. The forests are being revived, everyone now knows the importance of planting trees and keeping the environment. The government has new laws on trees which really protects the environment.
4. Have you seen anything like greenbelt movement that unifies the community and does good for the environment?
Yes, there are other smaller organizations to protect the environment even if I don’t know about them so much. there is also club 123s which started in enkii primary school by teacher Peris Siamanta some years ago. It has brought great changes in the area and the community and students have learned a lot from it. But the greenbelt movement is the biggest in Kenya and is known worldwide.
5. As a teacher, have you taught your students the value of the community taking care of itself and providing fro itself?
Yes, i have taught them a lot. we have gone door to door educating people. we have bought and planted trees, we have held campaigns fro the sake of the environment, we have recycled many things e.t.c.
6. Do you rely more on local business food, clothing e.t.c, or do you rely on large corporations like McDonald’s and other mainstream names fro your necessities?
We don’t have McDonald’s in my community. I think it is in Nairobi. yes, we rely on our local market. many things here are farmed. so it is from farm to fork food. mostly we buy second hand clothed from abroad. they are more cheaper and long lasting.