People suffer as mosquito control scheme left ignored

Published: 00:00, Mar 07,2021


CITY residents are reported to be struggling to save themselves from mosquito bites almost round the clock as the mosquito control programme of city authorities have failed to make any mark. In view of the complaints of an increased mosquito menace, city authorities largely say that they regularly spray larvicide but it is not working as expected. If the spraying of larvicide is not regular, it brings to the fore the negligence of city authorities in their mosquito control programme. If the spraying of larvicide is regular, which city residents think is not true, it questions the quality of the larvicide that the city authorities use. In both the cases, it is the city authorities who are to blame for the failure, which strains the life of people who pay taxes to city authorities hoping for amenities. Yet, Dhaka’s north city authorities are reported to have set aside Tk 700 million and the south city authorities Tk 3 billion for mosquito control in the 2021 financial year. The amount of money is reported to have been the record allocation for the job and this is, perhaps, required especially after the dengue menace that shook the public health system in 2019. A question comes up: when will such a huge amount of money be spent on killing mosquitoes?

Dhaka’s north mayor on March 3 put down the failure to wrong decisions of the city authorities. He blamed experts for not giving right suggestions at the right time and hoped to bring the situation under control in two weeks as the authorities are to begin a special mosquito control programme soon employing new methods. The statements also brings to the fore a couple of questions. Why did the city authorities make wrong decisions? Who are the experts who have failed to make right suggestions at the right time? The propositions, in turn, beget another question. Have the people having made wrong decisions and having failed to make right suggestions been held to account? The city authorities, who come to be criticised for their mosquito control failure almost every year, should already have their own panel of experts to make decisions. The city authorities are reported to have employed ducks, by releasing them in some ponds and water bodies, in the middle of 2020 in mosquito control. The city authorities are also reported to be importing drones that can be used to spray larvicide over spaces, such as the middle of water bodies. The city authorities are also learnt to have identified hot-spots for mosquito breeding before the season. The works needed to contain mosquito menace having been left unattended, it seems that the exotic plans such as the employment of ducks and the use of drones could hardly bring about intended results.

The record allocation for mosquito control that the city authorities have made are highly unlikely to produce any results but are highly likely to create scope for likely misappropriation. Such a situation is unacceptable especially after the 2019 dengue menace, which is likely to have gone unreported in 2020 because of the outbreak of COVID-19, which still persists.

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