Saturday, June 22, 2024

Mosquito menace beyond control

Lack of anti-mosquito drive blamed
Vexed by the sudden spurt in mosquito menace in the capital, the city dwellers alleged that the menace has gone beyond control for lack of regular anti-mosquito drive by the Dhaka City Corporation.
‘The situation has become so alarming that even during day time anti-mosquito spray needs to be used in business establishments, offices and also in houses,’ complained Enamul Haque, a senior officer of a private bank in the city.
He urged the authorities concerned to take special measures to contain the mosquito menace, saying that children, particularly the SSC candidates, are finding it difficult to study because of severe attack of mosquito.
Describing mosquito menace as a public health nuisance, Professor Prabhat Chandra Barua, a public health specialist, told the news agency that the city corporation should take immediate measures to reduce the sources of mosquito breeding places as it can emerge as a big public health concern.
‘Mosquito bites during the spring season can increase the number of patients who will come with various skin diseases, particularly allergy complaints,’ he said.
Visiting some DCC areas like Shewrapara, Kazipara, Mirpur, Pallabi, Mohammadpur, Gandaria, Malibagh, Maghbazar, Rampura, Khilgaon, Basabo, Madartek, Uttara and the Dhaka University areas, the dwellers in these areas were found complaining about mosquito menace.
When contacted to find the reasons behind the spurt in mosquito menace, the DCC authorities concerned alleged that huge privately-owned wetlands in the city corporation areas remain as breeding places for mosquito and creating the recent public nuisance.
The DCC chief health officer, Md Shawkat Ali, told the news agency that the corporation, as per its rules, continue its regular activities to eradicate mosquito.
‘We are continuing our (anti-mosquito) measures but those may not be as massive as the people expect. It’s also not possible for us to meet the people’s expectation,’ he said.
Asked about the limitations, Shawkat Ali mentioned three big problems for DCC — private wetlands, covered drains and stagnant empty pots — which increase mosquito breeding in the city.
He said there are huge numbers of privately-owned wetlands in the DCC areas, which have become dumping places for dirty wastes and consequently breeding places for mosquito.
The DCC chief health officer alleged that the owners of private wetlands do not keep these places clean.
Asked about the steps taken against such owners of private wetlands, he said that the DCC always issue notices to the owners urging them to keep the wetlands clean. ‘If they ignore the notice, cases can be filed against them,’ he said.
Shawkat Ali also mentioned that there are many covered drains in the city corporation areas where mosquito-killing medicine could not be sprayed or reached properly and this way mosquito population increases.
‘Huge empty pots and cans are found adjacent to the city slums and these pots cannot be removed by the DCC for lack of adequate labourers,’ he said, adding that these also add to mosquito menace.
The chief health officer also mentioned that some areas, particularly Matuail, Demra and Keraniganj, outside the control of the DCC, are huge breeding places for mosquito.
About the city dwellers’ allegation about the anti-mosquito drive, he said in every ward some 6-8 DCC workers are always engaged in the anti-mosquito drive, but the activities of such workers are not often visible due to their small number in proportion to the residents in the respective areas.
Earlier, when the correspondent personally contacted Nasim-Us-Seraj, senior insect control officer of the mosquito control department of the DCC, he declined to speak about the measures being taken by the corporation to stop mosquito menace. ‘I can’t tell you anything,’ he said.
When contacted, the DCC chief public relation officer, Abdur Rahman, informed that he has no information about the mosquito menace and the anti-mosquito drive conducted by the corporation authorities. ‘Officials responsible for conducting the anti-mosquito drive may be able to provide you the information,’ he said.

Courtesy of UNB via NewAgebd

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