People living in cities are suffering in the face of an uncontrolled mosquito menace that also comes with the threats of additional health hazards in this time of COVID-19 outbreak.
Dhaka residents said that mosquito population has increased and became intolerable at this time of the year although it had started increasing since the beginning of February when the temperature had begun to fall.
They alleged that for the lack of pragmatic preventive measures and timely intervention by the city authorities, they are being forced to tolerate mosquito bites round the clock, everywhere in the city.
However, talking to the press, Dhaka south city mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh on Wednesday said that culex mosquito went uncontrolled for the wrong decision by the city corporation.
He however blamed the experts for not giving the right suggestions at the right time so that he could control the mosquitoes.
‘We are hopeful that the culex mosquito population would be brought under control in two weeks as the DSCC has changed its mosquito killing method,’ he said.
Dhaka north city corporation officials admitted that there has been an increase in the mosquito population and said that they are set to start a special crash programme against mosquitoes from Sunday.
Entomologist and former president of the Zoological Society of Bangladesh Manjur A Chowdhury said that he was not aware which expert misguided the south city mayor and even who suggested duck cultivation for controlling mosquitoes.
Manjur Chowdhury found that to solve the problem of water stagnation in the city, authorities have built deep drainage lines and covered them, creating an ideal place for mosquitoes to breed.
He also pointed out that the authorities were negligent in identifying mosquito breeding hotspots before the season, which needed to be demolished.
He also blamed the DNCC for not working according to the suggestions the experts gave and added that he had asked not to import drones for controlling the mosquito population but asked to clean water hyacinth from water bodies.
‘The DNCC is yet to clean water hyacinth from water bodies but, instead, it has imported drones which have hardly any role in controlling mosquitoes,’ he said.
Abdul Hannan Talukder, a private employee living in the capital’s Mirpur said that he had been living in the sixth floor of a nine-storey building where he did not experience the mosquito menace in the last six years but now mosquitoes are everywhere.
He however blamed the Dhaka North City Corporation for not doing much to fight the mosquito menace in the last three months.
‘During the coronavirus outbreak, I saw fogging and anti-larvae drive several times but no activities in the last three months,’ he said.
Abdun Noor Shishir, a job seeker living in the capital’s Kathalbagan, said that mosquito menace became so acute in the area that the mosquitoes cannot be controlled using household repellents like coil and aerosol or other insect sprays.
Shamsun Nahar, a nurse of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said that patients were forced to hang mosquito nets round the clock to save themselves from vector-borne diseases.
To kill mosquito larvae in stagnant water bodies, both the city corporations are using Temephos and Malaria Oil B. They are also using Malathion for fogging to kill adult mosquitoes.
In 2020-21 fiscal, both the city corporations have kept a record budgetary allocation for curbing the mosquito population.
The DNCC has allocated Tk 70 crore while the DSCC has allocated Tk 300 crore.
DSCC workers in charge of spraying to kill mosquitoes at Mohammadpur and Azimpur areas, however, complained that they were regularly fogging but it was not working.
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