Interviews and photos by David Papannah and Dreylan Johnson

This week, the man and woman in the street shared their views on climate change, the effects it has locally and what can be done to reduce the impact of the phenomenon.

Gregory De Souza- ‘I believe climate change does exist even though some people deny it and that the sudden rise in destructive hurricanes is evidence that the waters are warming, the earth is warming. I am not to certain if it is affecting Guyana directly but only time can say if it will or won’t.’



Godfrey Jacobs – ‘Yes, I do believe the climate change has affected us, like when rain is falling you are seeing a change in the pattern it is not like you would have expected. The recent hurricanes show us how climate change is affecting us. I have not felt the changes in the weather so I am not directly affected. The weather has changed up a bit and we are seeing that.’


Byron Austin- ‘I believe it is real because in Guyana in some of the regions we do have floods and it is because of climate change. In Region 9 we have these dry seasons where it really affect farmers. The dry seasons are longer and more than what it used be. I think because of climate change some of the interior communities experienced those mini storms.’


Lucy Butchey –‘I do believe climate change is real but I think we are seeing the effects of it because of our own negligence. We have not been taking care of the environment and the climate has been changing. I feel it every single day for the few years. We are having some really hot days I didn’t grow up and experience this kind of heat. Even the rain pattern has changed. There used to be a time frame when the rain would fall but the rain just comes and goes anytime of the year. It is sad and unfortunate that everyone is not aware of the changes. They need to be aware of it though and learn what we can do to help. We should work to keep the environment clean. We can do so much better to protect our environment.’


Nira Beepat –‘Climate Change is when the weather is being affected over a long period of time as a result of human activities through carbon emissions for example.  It is a real phenomenon and Guyana is affected by it. The recent hurricanes show the changes in the weather as we experienced a lot of humid weather. You would have heard the thunders while we are having dry seasons. Our weather pattern has surely changed. Sometimes it rains longer than it should or sometimes you have a drought season. In Guyana we should be more conservative like reduce the number of cars a family has. Make use of public transportation also stop burning our garbage and either bury or take it to a landfill.’


Oswald Williams- ‘Guyana has been experiencing a lot of changes as a result of climate change. The weather conditions in where I am living in the Pomeroon has been affected by heavy rains which causes flooding. The farmers suffer from losses of their crops and produce. The rain is more now and the water level, it is at an all-time high. The seasons in Guyana have changed like last year when we are accustomed to having rains in Christmas time it didn’t rain. We depend on the sweet water to carry out our work but it wasn’t so last year because we had like six months of sunshine and the salt water affected the people greatly.’


Javid Mohammed- ‘For me climate change is a real phenomenon and Guyana is experiencing the changes in the weather. We are having some really hot weather these days. In terms of rain we are not seeing much rain. We need to protect the environment and use more renewable energy resources. I think Guyana can do more to help curb the change and maybe they should encourage people to use solar power because we are having a lot of sunshine.’

Laura George- ‘I became aware of climate change because of my work as an Indigenous Rights Activist. The discussions on climate change came out from the low carbon development strategy. As an organization, the Amerindian People’s Association, we realized only one side of the conversation was taking place in terms of the climate change, the impacts and more projecting benefits of climate change around the international conversation which was to keep the forest standing and get some money out of it. It was very one-sided and it did not even protect the rights of indigenous people, the ones who have been keeping the eco system intact,  that is how I gained knowledge of it. Indigenous people were aware that the weather patterns were not the same but they just didn’t know that it was happening in other parts of the world. I have been affected by the change, coming from the Upper Mazaruni I can say my people were forced to predict weather patterns, where to farm and how to farm. They needed to keep up with the changes in terms of the need to change to different traditional systems. We see the effects of the flood in some of these areas and this is not something they are accustomed to.’


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