Impact of Increased Cost of Living in Guyana

Baiganchoka Discover Your Culture

April 17, 2008

Bharrat Jagdeo refuses to admit that Guyana is below poverty line and the causes for this decline are: mismanagement of funds, bad policies, inflation, corruption, drugs and crimes. Wages and salaries are weakened gravely behind inflation and thus the currency is devalued more and more each day while wages remains the same.

The rising cost of commodities and basic supplies have brought immense hardship to the people in Guyana; 80% of who survive do so on less than 5 USD a day. This amount could buy 1 lb chicken, 1 lb flour, 1pt oil and 3eggs for an entire day. The question is, how can people afford to pay their bills, transportation fees, and clothing etc if their salary is not enough to buy basic food? In 2007 a bottle cooking gas cost $2700 GYD or 13.50 USD; in 2008 it costs $4000 GYD or 20 USD. Where will we get the money? The basic prices for rice, flour, beans, sugar, milk and fruits have risen by more than 30% within the last year in Guyana. A little slice of fish is selling for $500 GYD or 2.50 USD. People cannot afford to buy fish and hardly chicken; a common fisherman/ breadwinner cannot maintain his family no longer and many more families are facing similar situation.

Those who are employed in blue color jobs are simply living in a state of destitution and thus, are incapable of buying basic food. The effect of it is that families will be left breadless in their homes because of the inability of the breadwinner to even buy minimum quantity for his family. So while the world look on at Haiti

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10 Responses to "Impact of Increased Cost of Living in Guyana"

  1. Alvin says:

    People hardly seem to care what is going on in Guyana and other countries because they are not in those situations yet.

  2. simone says:

    i think if we work together as a nation and fight crime we make guyana a better place. it takes the power of one, one person can make a difference for everyone

    • Bibi says:

      i’m living in Barbados currently going through a divorce.i apply for piece of land in Guyana since 1997 never got a reply.i apply again last month,my mother took in form,they told her i have to come home to apply myself.i call spoken to a MS ALI ask if my son can apply on my behave she say he is too young.17 years is too young to buy a land cash ,but not too young to vote.tell me who will buy my ticket that cost 400us to come home to buy a land.i’m working and going to nursing.i can’t leave to come home now.what is the goverment is doing?i have to 2 children in Guyana.i want to build my house from my money not the bank.i call the Guyana Consulate MR FERIA he told me he’ll do up a document so my son could take in to housing but MS ALI say they wouldn’t accept it.

      • Andrew says:

        @Bibi, Hi Bibi, Sorry to hear about your troubles. It is a proven fact that Guyana is a backwards nation governed by individuals that have distanced themselves from reality.

        In Guyana, it is is always a battle to get anything done properly. Please feel free to keep us posted on what’s happening. There are many many Guyanese who are fustrated with the way Guyana currently is and that is why people are trying to run away from Guyana.

        The example you shared of your son should serve as proof to what i am saying. If you are legal to elect a political leader, you should be able to conduct any type of business as your see fit.

        If you depend on the Guyanese government to help you solve any of your imbroglios, you are on the wrong path.

        We would like to more about your issue and document it properly on this site,

  3. Alvin says:

    Simone, how can one person make a difference when most Guyanese are corrupted? What ways do you think can help this fallen nation? Cost of living increased and salaries decreased-so how will the poor survive? Does anyone care about Guyanese,if so what are they doing to help the current situation?

  4. Randy says:

    Corruption is always the problem. It would be the problem is the United States or any one else steps in with money. Corrupt ed officials take the money and it never gets to where it should be. Only the people can change that by taking action. You strike in the sugar field is a good start.

  5. mcintosh says:

    I have been living in the USA close t o half-a-century, and have been looking forward to spending my retirement years back in the old country. What the government has been over looking or perhaps lost sight of is the infusion of cash flow into the economy by retirees overseas pensions into the bank monthly. If government set up a retirement complex, example homes, etc like other caribbean countries, they will be taking in millions which in turn can be re invested in eco-producing ventures. Guyana is a blessed nation, it has land, warer, rain and sun. Spread the people out on the land teach them to farm and grow their own food, and all the complaining will stop. I think the problem with my country men/women are they watch the American media, and are just focusing on duplication of that fantacy . I lived on the east bank before i left home, worked in georgetown and on weekends i was in my farm planting crops and raising poultry. i lived within my means to improve my means.

  6. Richard Cooper says:

    I know very little about Guyana and have never been to your Country. I am a business and commercial financing consultant living in Charleston, South Carolina, USA and a Sr. VP with a small investment bank that focuses on energy and renewable energy production projects as well as “Eco-Friendly” real estate developments.

    Back in the mid ’90s I did a two year tour of duty in the Turks & Caicos Islands which, in contrast to Guyana with it’s sigificant natural resources attiributes, was little more than “gravely rock”, lots of white sandy beaches and even the water was desal sea water.

    However… a very robust economy based on international tourism and as a “Cayman-style” offshore banking and busines center.

    While a British jurisdiction, the National Government is comprised of TCI Islanders and the U.S dollar is the official currency. The laws governing the establishment of expatriate-owned busineses is of benefit to the native population and economy with numerous business categories requring that the expat investor partner with a native islander and hire native support labor wherever possible.

    What prompted this commentary? I have just been on a search for sources of bauxite for a client in India and rice for a client in Sierra Leone, W.Africa and made contact with your Country’s Export Assistance Unit who have been very responsive in providing me with some potentially useful contacts.

    In terms of Guyana agriculture… has anyone considered the enormous increase in U.S. consumer demand for ORGANIC PRODUCE (fruits, veg and herbs). A decade ago, “organic” produce was to be found only in specialty grocers and expensive natural foods markets. Today, organic produce is to be found in most mid-to-upscale mainstream supermarkets.

    Maybe someone in your Department of Agriculture should find out who is currently growing organic produce and what they are growing. Develop a “Good for You from Guyana” brand image to be progressively established in the USA and seek out buyers from supermarket chains who may be willing to contract-purchase produce and even provide a “shopping list” of “growables” to be priced out.

    Do you grow coffee? What varieties? Is there a national identity that could be developed and adapted as a brand name?

    Tourism? I cannot recall any tv commercials or magazine features promoting Guyana. Do you have a National Tourism Board? If so, to which countries are they promoting your Nation? Even though the USA economy has “nose-dived” and will take time to recover “we” still have to eat and drink coffee!

    There will always be those who CAN afford to travel for leisure and why leave those folks to discover Costa Rica when Guyana can offer a tropical paradise for even less money? Don’t forget either than hundreds of retirement age Americans and Candians are buying homes in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and now Belize has woken up to the potential.

    Your Country has gold and diamonds. How is that sector administrated? Is that highly profitable sector returning what it should, in economic terms, to the people of Guyana?

    A blog comment above pointed to endemic corruption. Corruption is born out of a “virus” that falsely promotes the belief that personal advancement is only possible at the expense and disadvantage of others. Ultimately, the vast majority become “infected” and the end result is economic ruin, increasing crime, self-sustaining impoverishment and ultimately the Country becomes a despotic dictatorship.

    Here in coastal South Carolina we have a rich cultural heritage that blends the Caribbean and West African ancestories into what is called the “Gullah Geechee” heritage and a dialect that is distinctly Caribbean. No wonder since 36% of South Carolina’s population is Black with numerous family histories extending back to the mid 1800s.

    A surviving craft tradition is continued to this day… the hand-weaving of “sweetgrass baskets”. These are “heirloom” quality baskets and even though sold from road-side vendor stands, are priced anywhere from $25 for a very small basket to over $200.

    I might just decide to make a visit to Guyana with my wife to see for myself because I have a sense that OPPORTUNITY, yet to be discovered, exists.

  7. Kevin caitano says:

    Hi im kevin im 23 now when i left guyana in 2003 to forther my studies in south africa guyana was totaly diffrent place from what you mention.after reading your post it makes me think of not returning to guyana.and im graduating next week from my univarsity and im only returning to guyana after 8 year with out seeing my parents if i had family in south africa i would not return to guyana and reading ur article make me think how guyana have change i can stil remember i used to go home in 2003 3am and no one would truble you.what is the president doing to rectify all the problem in guyana.all they care about is getting richer and leting the poor go poorer

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