I am living in Stvincent and the Grenadines and climate change is having a negative impact on my life and the environment. Climate change refers to significant changes in global temperature, precipitation, wind patterns, and other measures of climate over several decades or longer.
Droughts are having a devasting impact in Stvincent and the Grenadines and in 2020 we would have experienced one of the worst droughts in living memory, which had caused a lot of farmers to lose their crops and animals because of the high temperatures and lack of rainfall. According to an NBC news article, the article states that the Barbados met services had reported that the drought conditions being experienced was the worst in 72 years.
This drought would have resulted in a shortage of fruits and vegetables and prices were sky high because of a shortage on the market. Fruits and vegetables are essential for the human health because they provide us vitamins and other nutrients for a healthy lifestyle. A shortage of fruits and vegetables can affect my health. Livestock farmers were negatively impacted by this drought because a lot of the grass had died.
The Agricultural sector had a loss of 16 million Eastern Caribbean dollars. Droughts also disrupts your supply of water which affects you from cooking, showering, washing, and even getting water to drink when you are thirsty. Humans need 6-8 glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration and to keep your body healthy, how am I supposed to get 6-8 glasses of water during a drought?
In recent years, temperatures during the day and night is extremely hot, which is causing me to use a lot of fan, resulting in my electricity bill being extremely high. Heat waves can cause dehydration and other health conditions which can result in death. I remember couple years ago, the temperature use to be very good for exercising and playing sports, these days it is difficult to exercise and play sports because of the high temperatures. Lack of exercise can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Climate change causes an increase of rainfall and warmer temperatures which are a good habitat for the aedes aegypti mosquito. These mosquitoes live in the tropics and are responsible for spreading Zika, Dengue fever, Chikungunya, etc. According to a report published by the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and the Environment, the article states that there were over seven hundred confirmed cases of chikungunya viral disease in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (http://health.gov.vc/health/index.php/news/329-national-surveillance-committee-concerned-about-the-spread-of-the-chikungunya-disease). I was also a victim of chikungunya which had caused me to take a lot of sick leave and hundreds of other people, resulting in low productivity at various work places. Dengue fever was a catastrophe in Stvincent and the Grenadines. According to an I witness news article, the article states that on October 6th 2020, 655 laboratory confirmed cases of dengue fever had been reported in the country. The article further states that six persons would have lost their lives as a result of the mosquito borne viral illness. (https://www.iwnsvg.com/2020/10/09/girl-13-is-svgs-latest-dengue-death/).
In 2016 some cases of Zika were reported in Stvincent and the Grenadines which had caused a lot of panic because of the “microcephaly” associated with this virus. Climate change is causing the ocean to get warmer which is a good recipe for storms and hurricanes. As hurricanes or storms travel across warm oceans, they pull in more water vapour and heat. This means stronger wind, heavier rainfall and more flooding when the storm or hurricane hits land. December 24th 2013, which started off as a beautiful day, turned into a nightmare for many Vincentians. Many Vincentians were busy cleaning their house and doing their last minute shopping for Christmas, when around 6pm the weather began to deteriorate. A freak storm had passed over the country causing destruction to many houses, crops and loss of lives. A lot of persons spend Christmas and Boxing Day without water and electricity, people houses were flooded and 12 persons had lost their lives.
I love going to the beach and I have been observing that a lot of coastal erosion is taking place on a lot of the beaches. Climate change is causing a lot of ice glaciers to melt, which is causing sea level to rise, resulting in coastal erosion at various beaches. Scientists have already warned that earth’s temperature must not get past 1.5 degree Celsius, however the bigger countries are releasing a lot of greenhouse gases. According to a CNN news article, the article states that the concentration of carbon dioxide in 2020 was 149% higher than levels before industrialization. (https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/25/world/emissions-climate-greenhouse-gas-bulletin-wmo-intl/index.html). The Caribbean is staring down the barrel of a gun with climate change and to remove this gun, it is going to require “unity”. We have unity with CSME and we must unite with “climate change”. The bigger countries are emitting a lot of greenhouse gases which is accelerating climate change and disrupting our lives and the environment. The greatest rapper of all time, Tupac Shakur has a song name “changes”. The song begins with “I see no changes”. Change is needed with the amount of greenhouse gases that is emitted. The Caribbean might be small, but we must let the bigger countries know enough is enough and remember small axe does cut down big tree.