Published: 16th of June, 2023 by Patrick Carpen
A few years ago, in the year 2019, we took a Colombian and a Brazilian tourist to the Kumu Falls in Kumu Village, Region 9, Guyana, South America. After enjoying the refreshing waters of the Kumu Falls, we were on our way back, chipping our way down the rocky path back to our vehicle.
Along the way, one of the tourists noticed a bit of rubbish on the ground. Someone had left some disposable plastic cups on the ground. Our tourist stopped to pick it up and said, “this shouldn’t be here. Let’s take it out.”
At that point, I pulled out my camera and said, “let me take a picture.” And here it is below.
I thought this was an inspiring story…that foreign visitors to the falls would be so nice to pick up trash left there most likely by locals. It’s called “showing us how it’s done,” so I decided to take a picture.
At the entrance to the falls, there is a signboard that reads, “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.” And that means don’t leave trash behind.
We’re happy that this rule is often followed. But it is not always followed. A few days ago, a citizen of the Rupununi posted photos of beer bottles, beer cans, and other items left at the Kumu Falls. Some of the bottles were placed in the falls itself where they could wash down, break, and then pose a safety hazard to people.
This incident caused outrage and distress to people of the region as well as environmentally conscious people from across the country and perhaps the world at large. The photos of the rubbish left back was reposted by Action News Guyana which brought a lot of attention to it.
Team Guyana, South America urges all citizens and foreign visitors to adhere to rules when visiting tourist destinations across the country. Help us to keep our country safe and clean.