Kenyan environmental activist Phyllis Omido has been named in the list of 100 most influential people of 2021 by Time magazine.
The 43-year-old was recognized for her activism that led to the closure of a lead-smelting plant in the middle of Owino Uhuru, a slum in Mombasa.
Omido, described as the “East African Erin Brockovich”, led protests against the company after discovering that irresponsible lead disposal was causing water contamination and poisoning to her, her baby, and her entire community.
In 2010, her son fell ill and doctors discovered he had dangerously high levels of lead in his blood.
After a 12-year battle, her efforts led to the shuttering of the plant in 2014 which was followed by a landmark $12 million settlement awarded to lead-poisoning victims in her community in 2020.
In 2015, the single mother was among the recipients of the Goldman Environmental Prize for her activism.
Omido, who previously worked as a laborer in the lead-smelting factory, is currently the Executive Director for Center for Justice Governance and Environmental Action.
The annual list of ‘The 100 Most Influential People of 2021’ also includes US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan, former US President Donald Trump, Naomi Osaka, Dolly Parton, Billie Eilish and Simone Biles among others.