The neighbourly practice of persons instructing their employees to burn large quantities of materials in their backyards while they and their children are off to work or school is the kind of thing that marks our Guyanese culture today. As I write, I am sitting at my computer feeling nauseous for two main reasons:
First, the smoke wafting in from my neighbour’s bonfire has engulfed my workspace and is stifling. I can hardly breathe.
My mother’s room is worse, since it is situated in the direct path of the smoke. Secondly, my neighbour had done this before and left the residents and her employees to suffer the effects while she and her family went elsewhere.
I called her in a civil manner and begged her not to burn anything again. My wishes did not count. The burning today is even worse than on the previous occasion.
I wish to publicly state that, after participating in a tiring campaign to close down the dumpsite at Le Repentir, and in that action working with other Guyanese citizens who helped me to regain my faith in my country, I am deeply saddened and sickened (literally and figuratively) by my neighbour’s action. I thought her to be an educated person who was aware of environmental degradation.
Could she not have hired a horse cart to take the material away? Or could she not have buried it? Why subject your neighbours to something that you have placed yourself at a safe distance from? What are your values?
Do you expect to be respected by the persons you live among?
Or are you just interested in making money and to hell with everyone else around you?