As mosquitoes rage across Dhaka, Mayor Taposh finds ‘solution in public awareness’

Tormented by mosquito menace, the city dwellers continue to blame the city authorities for not doing enough to save them from mosquito-borne diseases, particularly Dengue.

The mosquito menace is a major issue in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) as elsewhere in the capital. Despite DSCC’s claim of conducting mosquito control drives regularly, the city dwellers are not getting relief from the torment of mosquitoes.

According to residents of DSCC, the city corporation has not been able to destroy the breeding grounds of mosquitoes.

Like the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), the people in the south city area have failed to protect themselves even after using mosquito nets, mosquito coils, electric bats, and mosquito repellent sprays.

The problem during the daytime is relatively tolerable but it becomes unbearable at night in home, office-court, educational institutions.

The city’s worst-hit areas include Malibagh, Rampura, Banasree, Meradia, Goran, Khilgaon, Jatrabari, Sayedabad, Dhanmondi, Old Dhaka, Fakirapul, Arambagh, Paltan, Motijheel, Kamalapur, Maniknagar, Basabo, Mugda, Khilgaon, Dholaikhal, Kuril, Mir Hajaribag, Shyampur, Kamrangirchar, Sutrapur, Mohammadpur and Hazaribagh.

Nazmul Haque, who lives in Malibagh, said that they are infested with mosquitoes which is really unbearable. “There’s no respite from mosquitoes, no matter where you’re…we’re always at the risk of getting infected with dengue. But the DSCC claims that mosquitoes are under control.”

He said though the city corporation conducts a drive to control the mosquitoes by fogging, this cannot be brought under control without destroying the breeding grounds.

Jannatun Naeem, a resident of Bhuiyan Para, Banasree, told UNB, “I cannot get rid of mosquitoes even though I live on the 10th floor of my apartment. I’ve to spend extra money to prevent mosquitoes every day which is a burden for my family. The fact is that mosquitoes cannot be completely eradicated with coils or sprays. The city corporation should take more solid steps in this regard.”

Hassan, a resident of Basabo area, said, “In the evening, you’ve to work sitting inside the mosquito net as the mosquito coil doesn’t work. The DSCC should work on mosquito control round the year as it should not be a seasonal drive.”

DSCC’s version

Dr Fazle Shamsul Kabir, the Chief Health Officer of Dhaka South City Corporation, told UNB, “It’s not possible to completely eradicate mosquitoes, but now the mosquitoes are under control.”

He said now seven DSCC workers work in the morning in each of the 75 wards to destroy the larvae. And in the afternoon, six workers spray repellant through fogger machines. “We’ve also brought city ponds under mosquito control drive with 36 wheelbarrow machines.”

Asked about allegations that mosquito spray with a fogger machine was not being applied properly in every ward, he said, “This Is not true. Anyway, if you can specify the name of an area, then I’ll take action.”

He also said Dengue attacks have declined in the south city as it’s reporting 2-3 patients on average every day. “Now we come to the part where we work on controlling culex mosquitoes.”

DSCC Chief Executive Officer (Additional Secretary) Farid Ahmed said 1,050 workers are working in our 75 wards for mosquito control. “I’m holding a meeting every 15 days under the leadership of the mayor on how to control mosquitoes.”

He said fogging to control mosquitoes is going on in the morning and also in the afternoon. However, at the moment, the drive is closed in every ward.

Mayor’s call

DSCC Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh told UNB that mosquitoes are now under control as a result of their various initiatives.

“I’ve been relentlessly working to free the city from mosquitoes. We’ve a number of other plans to destroy mosquito breeding grounds.”

The mayor said 46 government waterbodies in the south city corporation will be cleaned by January 15 to control mosquitoes. The work will start on January 1. “Besides, all the city canals will be cleaned up soon.”

“To do that, adequate manpower is required. The work order in this regard has already been issued which will be done through outsourcing,” the mayor added.

Mayor Taposh said the city corporation alone is not responsible for mosquito control. “All the city dwellers need to be more aware because mosquitoes also breed inside houses and workplaces. So, the houses must be kept clean.”

“We can’t control the breeding of mosquitoes without keeping houses, workplaces as well as our surroundings clean. That’s why every dweller must be aware,” Taposh urged.

Ministry’s monitoring

Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam said two city corporations in Dhaka are working to contain mosquito menace. “We’re also constantly monitoring.”

In this regard, the minister said, city corporations must play an effective role in mosquito control. “If someone’s negligence in mosquito control is noticed, the ministry will take immediate steps,” he insisted.

However, the city corporations and the LGRD ministry are working together to get rid of the mosquitoes in Dhaka city.

Source: United News of Bangladesh