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Fight against the mosquito

Carlos Atwell

Fight against the mosquito

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The Ministry of Health has started the prosecution of people over unhealthy habits that contribute to mosquitoes breeding, and the SATURDAY SUN visited a few spots in St Michael to get an idea of how prevalent the problem was.

With the dreaded chikungunya illness rising to 49 confirmed cases and 200 suspected cases and taking down from cricketers to health workers, the drive is on to control mosquito breeding.

In Emmerton Lane, residents are complaining that some of their neighbours are guilty of keeping filthy surroundings.

However, the main problem appears to be a pool of stagnant water which apparently is constantly there.

“That water doesn’t move and it is there every day. I think the problem is the gutter is broken and the water pools here instead of flowing through,” said one woman, who was not identified.

Margaret Langdon takes a proactive approach but fears it is not enough.

“I put kerosene and diesel in there and I even spray the grass around here but I can only do so much and it is hard for me to keep paying someone to clean up someone else’s land,” she said.

Langdon said mosquitoes were a big problem in the area and she went through lots of money and insecticide battling them.

“I use two to three large cans of spray every week. I am afraid of chikungunya; I know of people who catch it and I don’t want it. What I want is for Government to give back people work so they can come clean the gutters and for property owners to keep their land clean,” she said, adding giant African snails were also a problem.

The proprietor of Blackie’s Variety and Bar, who requested anonymity, said the traditional measures of fighting the bloodsucking, disease-spreading insect were not working.

“There are mosquitoes enough about the place; if you sit outside they attack you like you’re on their home turf. They laugh at Bop [insecticide] and mosquito coils; they’re like deodorant to them. We are getting rain and the people are not clearing their properties. We need fogging,” she said.

In Golden Rock, The Pine, garbage and bush are the main problems. Residents say the indiscriminate dumping is clogging the gutters, which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

One of the other areas overgrown with bush is The Belle, where bush often obscures vision. In addition, the Ministry of Health’s vector control unit was in the Barbados Port as part of their fogging programme, something done on a regular basis.

“We fog as often as we can, when they get problems with mosquitoes. We fog the whole port but the main problem is in the gutters. We already treated the gutters so this evening we are just fogging,” said the supervisor, who went unidentified.