Greg Funnell / Live Earth
Greg Funnells I Lost project for Live Earth.
The I LOST project looked at individual stories from people facing the realities of Climate Change worldwide. The case studies ranged from farmers in Malawi, to fishermen in the Philippines and OAPs in the USA. Each subject had their own story to tell and each had something they had lost due to the effects of climate change, whether it be Typhoons, floods or hurricanes – these are testimonies from the frontline.
The project was a collaboration with film maker Adam Patterson and was shot for the charity Live Earth.
Makiyi Lewis, 36, Malawi. “I Lost my land.” | The area which his family had farmed for generations was lost to floods in January 2015 when heavy rains fell and the dried up river bed near his crops swelled and swamped them. He is now trying to replant his crops but is unsure if the area will flood again.
Patuma Uladi, 38, Mkweta Village, Malawi. “I lost my home.” | Patuma is a widow with five children, her home was damaged when the Mpale River flooded in January 2015. The river burst its banks and came into the village in the middle of the night. She is a casual worker, and since her husband was washed away in the river during the same flood, she survives on a single income; she can’t afford to have her home rebuilt.
Elano Chavez, 47, Agujo, Northern Cebu, Philippines. “I lost my boat.” | Elano has the 3 children and 11 grandchildren and works as a fisherman in Northern Cebu. When Typhoon Haiyan struck in November 2013 he lost both his house and his boat, leaving him homeless and without a means of income to support his family.
Jennifer Mahon, 20, Staten Island, NY, USA. “I lost all my childhood photos.” | Jennifer’s Mother, Father and Brother were all swept away during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Their house near Midland Beach, 4 or 5 blocks from the beach was half destroyed. Fortunately Jennifer’s family survived the ordeal but she said one of the hardest things was losing her family photos and childhood possessions which were all swept away with many other things from the family home.
Diana Kurys, Staten Island, NY, USA. “I lost my wedding dress.” | in Diana and her husband had their basement flooded during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. There was extensive damage to their new property, and the many items were destroyed, perhaps most upsetting for Diana was the loss of her wedding dress.
Dave Filip, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA. “I lost my entire business.” | Dave Filip lost his sportswear company to the floods that hit Cedar Rapids in June 2008. After 20 years in business overnight his small company became in debt for over $1 million due to the loss of machinery and stock. Dave and his business partner Gary had to put their personal homes up for refinancing in order to save the company.
Cindy Koczo, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA. “I lost my Church.” | Cindy Koczo was the Church Secretary of her St Patrick’s Church in Cedar Rapids, when the floods of June 2008 happened. The Church was 5 blocks from the river and no one expected it to be affected. The devastation was so fast though that the insurance only covered the cost of the clean up, not the cost of renovation, for which a nationwide appeal was launched and raised around quarter of a million dollars.
Councilman James A. Gray II, 68, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. “I lost my district.” | When Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005, Councilman Gray’s district of the Lower 9th Ward was amongst the hardest hit in the city with over 1000 deaths. He also lost his house, and his elderly neighbour whose body lay undiscovered in her house for weeks afterwards.
Emily Towuni, 75, Southern Region, Malawi. “I lost my maize.” |The land which was originally her parents field was flooded in January of 2015. Up until that point there have been floods but nothing as serious and when they came in 2015, Emily lost all of her crops including maize, pumpkins and beans. She is now in a position where she is relying on neighbours to find her work in return for money or food.