President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a message of condolence to the family, relatives and friends of Kenyan Nobel Laureate, Prof Richard Samson Odingo, who passed away over the weekend at a Nairobi hospital.
Prof Odingo was the Vice Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) when the United Nations institution was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 jointly with former US Vice President Al Gore.
He held the position for 11 years.
In his message of comfort and encouragement, the President mourned the departed Prof Odingo as a Kenyan scientist who helped raise the country’s profile internationally through his contributions to the global action against climate change.
“It is unfortunate that death has robbed our country, and indeed, the world of a great climate scientist, whose contribution to the global struggle against climate change will be dearly missed.
“Many people across the world, know Prof Odingo as a highly accomplished climate change scientist and scholar who helped steer United Nations efforts to tackle climate change for over a decade.
“It is Prof Odingo’s great work at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that earned the United Nations agency Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, making him Kenya’s second Nobel Laureate after Prof Wangari Maathai,” the President eulogised.
The President said the late Prof Odingo’s rich research work will continue to be a reference point for future generations as the world steps up the battle against climate change.
“As a country, we appreciate that the international community recognized the work of the great Kenyan scholar and gave him the platform to share his research work and experience, in the process raising Kenya’s profile globally,” the President said.
Besides his long university teaching, research and international service, Prof Odingo, who earned his PhD in Geography from the University of Liverpool in 1963, served the country in several roles among them being the Chairman of the National Climate Change Activities Coordination Committee (NCCACC).
President Kenyatta prayed to God to give the family of the departed scholar the courage and grace to bear the pain of his demise.