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22 January, 2020 01:00:40 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 January, 2020 12:13:47 PM

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Mosquito menace grows in capital

Measures taken by civic bodies ‘not working’
MUBTASIM FUAD, Dhaka
Mosquito menace grows in capital

After dengue, which jolted the country for a good part of last year, the country, especially the capital city, has been witnessing a fresh mosquito menace for the past few weeks. Measures taken by the civic bodies to tackle the mosquito problem are not having the desired effect.

The menace has acquired a new dimension in the dry season. Data obtained from the two city corporations show a grim picture of mismanagement and dearth of efficient measures. Since 2015, when the outgoing mayors of the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) took charge, around Tk. 241 crore has been allocated for anti-mosquito drives, but the citizens have barely got any respite.

In 2015-16, the DSCC and DNCC allocated Tk. 12.5 crore and Tk.11 crore, respectively, for mosquito control measures. This allocation  multiplied three times in 2019-20, when the DSCC and DNCC allocated Tk. 43.3 crore and Tk. 49.3 crore, respectively, for the same purpose.

The Independent spoke to a number of city residents and they claimed that the problem had become worse lately, hampering their daily lives. It has reached such an extent that staying indoors using mosquito repellent coil or liquid even during the daytime has virtually become impossible.

Repellents are of no use, said Mehazabin Begum (42), a housewife from Bhasantek. She has not been able to have a good night’s sleep for days due to mosquitoes, as she feels uncomfortable inside a mosquito net.

Mehazabin said: “I generally use mosquito repellent coils or aerosol sprays before going to sleep. After several minutes, the repellents seem to become inactive or the mosquitoes develop resistance. I can hardly sleep because of the biting of mosquitoes."  

Similar accounts came from Samsurnahar Zebi (47) of Uttara Sector 7. She has been battling for the last two weeks to save her infant from mosquito bites.

Hafiz Rashid (40), who runs a teashop in Mirpur’s Muslim Bazaar area, said he needs to use mosquito coils even in the daytime to help customers sit comfortably.

In the absence of a clean-up initiative by both the city corporations of Dhaka, water bodies have not been cleaned in time and have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

City dwellers complained that measures by the city corporations made no significant change.

This newspaper also spoke to several residents of nine areas in the capital, including Kalyanpur, Airport, Khilkhet, Bhatara, Badda, Khilgaon, Basabo, Mugda, Mohammadpur in the last two days.

It has been reported that

the mosquito outbreak has increased greatly during the last two weeks. All the people have the same complaints against the civic bodies. Nazmus Sakib (27), a resident of Jafrabad in Mohammadpur, said: “Recently, mosquitoes have increased. It is very difficult to stay at home without mosquito coils and sprays. Moreover, I cannot use them all the time because they might harm my young children.”

“The number of mosquitoes is too high. Despite shutting all windows and doors, we can’t get a break,” said Sarwar Zaman (53), a resident of the Tejgaon Industrial Area.

“We use mosquito net, but it’s not possible to stay inside the net throughout the evening,” he said.

Aslam Hossain, a resident of Wari, said: “Two or three months back, the situation was fine after measures were taken by city corporations following the dengue outbreak. But once again, the mosquito menace has become severe. I have to use aerosol every night and put up mosquito nets for protection. Otherwise, it’s impossible to sleep at night,” he said.

However, Chief Health Officer of the DSCC, Brig Gen Sharif Ahmed, said: “What most of the people are saying do not reflect the reality. We have been taking a number of measures to lessen the mosquito menace. We are carrying out anti-mosquito fogging daily, but as we do it in the morning, most people fail to take notice. We are also carrying out cleaning of water bodies on a massive scale so that mosquitoes can’t breed.”

Again, Brig. Gen. Mominur Rahman Mamun, chief health officer of the DNCC, accepted that mosquitoes had increased. He recently visited several areas under the city corporation’s jurisdiction and found that mosquitoes had increased.

He, however, said their regular drive to curb mosquitoes is going on, and they have increased the dose of insecticides to handle the situation.  

“We are conducting meetings in this regard. We have already cleaned most of the water hyacinth in our areas, as these were one of the  breeding places of mosquitoes. We are thinking about cleaning our drains properly. We started the work on January 19, increasing manpower. After completing the work, we will spray the right amount of insecticides or pesticides,” he said.


IK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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