Sunday, June 16, 2024

Mosquitoes free to bite

Citizens complain of the menace, 2 DCCs’ adulticide dearth
Though the Dhaka City Corporation was bifurcated with a view to improving public service, city dwellers are hardly getting any respite from mosquito menace.
Life indoors and outdoors in the capital has become so uncomfortable due to this seasonal boom of mosquitoes. The homeless and security guards are their easiest prey.
Students, especially the candidates of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and the upcoming Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams, are the worst victims of this nuisance.
Residents, particularly of Basabo, Mirpur, Pallabi, Mohammadpur, Lalmatia, Uttara, Nayabazar, Nawabpur, Jatrabari, Madartek, Kazipara, Shewrapara, Moghbazar, Rampura, Khilgaon, Sutrapur and Gendaria have been complaining the most about the menace.
Nasima Begum, a homemaker living in Basabo area, said anti-mosquito drives had been totally absent in their locality for the past few years.
“You can’t relax for a moment here unless you have an electric mosquito zapper (racket) in the hand all the time,” said Rizwan of Basabo, adding that killing a dozen did not matter as many more took their place within minutes.
This goes on until they take refuge inside mosquito nets, he added.
Studying is very difficult with all these biting and buzzing all around, said Alif Alam Meem, an SSC candidate living in Mirpur-12.
He said even burning two mosquito coils simultaneously could not help him concentrate in studies.
“Mosquito net is a must if someone wants to take a nap during the day,” said Mohammad Hasnet of Kazipara.
Officials of both Dhaka north and south city corporations blamed the adulticide shortage of the last five months, and lack of field monitoring and drain maintenance for the failure in mosquito control.
An official of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) last week said although the decision of procuring adulticide should be taken at the beginning of a fiscal year, fund crunch had delayed the process.
Over the last five months, anti-mosquito drives had to be carried out with half the amount of adulticide needed to contain mosquitoes, said an official of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).
He identified lack of monitoring and the negligence of mosquito destruction crew and spray men as other key reasons behind the menace.
Just recently, the city corporations had each received 25,000 litres of adulticide, the official said.
Mohammad Nur-Un-Nabi, chief health officer of DNCC, last week said with this quantity they would be able to conduct drives for one month.
He said so far the field monitoring could not be carried out properly as the supervisors do not have the transport facility.
He suggested that everything like procurement of medicine, spraying and fogging equipment, and field works and funding be dealt by a particular department to give anti-mosquito drives the momentum.
Brig Gen Md Abdullah Al Harun, chief health officer of DSCC, said they had started a crash programme from February 25 which would continue until March 8.
“Under the programme, we will conduct anti-mosquito drives with full logistics in one or two wards in a day. We will spray and fog adulticide and larvicide to kill mosquitoes and larvae of that particular area(s) that day,” he said, adding that routine larviciding and adulticiding would continue after the programme ends.
“We have also been giving priority to waste management and requested the department concerned of the corporation to strengthen their activities,” said Brig Harun.
He said they had been asking people through horn speakers and messages in the print media to keep their houses clean since it is not possible for the city corporation employees alone to contain the menace.
Another official of DSCC pointed out that many of the drains in the capital are covered with concrete slabs which make it difficult for the city corporation men to reach the stagnant water underneath.
According to him, these covers should be removed in some areas of the capital.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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