Lamu,KENYA:The late former Public Works Permanent Secretary-PS Mariam El Maawy and her niece,a trainee pilot was over the weekend commemorated by the Lamu University Students Organization-LUSO who held a cleanup exercise in their honor.
Atleast 300 students took part in the exercise which was held in Mpeketoni.
The two died in a terror attack at Milihoi area on the Lamu-Mpeketoni highway after Al shabaab militants waylaid her convoy and took hostage a Toyota Prado carrying the PS,her niece and all her bodyguards.
All the six occupants of the vehicle,were later killed by the militants.
Only the PS survived and was rescued shortly after by the KDF.
She had serious gunshot injuries to her chest and burns to her legs which saw her admitted to a South African hospital form where she succumbed to her injuries September 2017.
The two were remembered by the students are environmental champions to would go out of their way to join the community and environmentalists in keeping Lamu safe.
The event was to also commemorate a year since the two perished in the unfortunate incident.
The LUSO Organizing Secretary Mohamed Skanda said the event was also meant to remind the Lamu community on the need to cohesion,peace and unity in the face of terrorism which they said doesn’t choose tribe,gender or religion.
He said the late PS was the organization’s mentor while her niece Arif was an active member of LUSO until the time of his passing.
Skanda said the event was also to encourage the Lamu community on the benefits of maintaining a clean environment.
“We chose to remember them through the things they loved to do most,keeping the environment clean.We chose to do it in Mpeketoni because it was the first to be hit by terrorism in Lamu and as such acted like a centre stage for our message for cohesion.We must never forget the scars of terrorism but draw life lessons for them as we look forward to a better tomorrow,”saod Skanda.
The LUSO Public Relations officer Najma Jaffar eulogized El Maawy as morally and spiritually upright person whose life,humble demeanor and professional excellence inspired the lives of many young girls in Lamu and beyond.
“She started off so humble but very hardworking and straight in her morals.Many of us here really looked up to her and we still do because her heritage lives on.Arif on the hand was a role model to young boys who came to believe that all was possible through education and hardwork.We miss them but most of all we remember them and how great they were,”said Jaffar.
One tone of garbage was collected at the end of the exercise.