Letter to the editor:
The anti mosquito campaign is a failure is a foregone conclusion, proved not only by the ever increasing number of cases of Dengue
but also by
the way the government officials go about taking action
Once in a blue moon, suddenly there will be a flurry of activity from the officials and every house in a particular area will be visited and those who had even a coconut shell with stagnant water will be hauled up in the courts to pay heavy fines – fair enough. But the mosquitoes must be having a hearty laugh since the very drains just outside these same houses will be full of muck and stagnant pools of water.
If the officers who visit are more concerned about
actually eradicating mosquitoes
just gleefully issuing warrants to the house holders, feeling grand that they ‘caught’ so many errant house holders, they would have taken a holistic approach.
They would have first made sure the drains are clean for that’s where most mosquitoes breed,
they would have taken time to explain to the inmates of the houses the importance of keeping the surrounding clean and would have visited on a regular basis to make sure their
are carried out.
Now and then the Municipality wakes up to the fact that the drains in the lanes need cleaning then there is a flurry of activity, a whole battalion of labourers and supervisors will land on the lane, removing overgrown weeds and the garbage obstructing the flow of water in the drains. For a full day there will be activity and then, all what they removed will be dumped in heaps right along the curbs and they will disappear.
When questioned they will assure that these will be removed during the course of the day, but alas! The heaps will remain for days to come,
slowly being kicked back into the drains by the vehicles, the pedestrians and the rain. The drains will be blocked even worse than before and we can rest assured the municipality workers will not be sighted for at least another 3 months! Just visit
There is no planning, no coordination between the labourers and those in charge of the municipality vehicles and no consistency in the project. Everybody – the laborers, the officers, the supervisors and the municipality councilors – all feel smug that they have done their part. But then the mosquitoes are singing their way
to their victims, now that they have even better breeding places.
Will there ever be a consistent plan to carry out such a simple project? Why cannot the municipality allocate a few officers
for a few lanes specifically, and first of all, educate THEM and instruct them to visit the household owners regularly on a friendly basis? The eradication can never be achieved without the willing cooperation of the public. Cleaning the premises, including the drains, fumigation, proper garbage disposal – all have to go hand in hand, and continuously supervised and carried out to eradicate mosquitoes.
Until then,Party time for the mosquitoes and Goodbye to the eradication.
Sent by :
Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai,